Tips for Making Valentine’s Sweeter

Make Valentine’s Day Sweeter for the Seniors in Your Life

Valentine’s Day conjures up feelings of romance and love. Flower retailers, candy stores, and card manufacturers rely on consumers to express their love with their pocketbook. In 2017, US consumers spent an average of $135 each on purchases for their sweethearts. For many seniors, though this annual day of romance may feel like just another day or could even be a day of loneliness or sadness.

Consider reaching out to seniors in your life who are widowed or living alone. Single seniors can also ask a friend or acquaintance to join them for an activity or outing in celebration of Valentine’s Day. Or, if you’re a friend or family member to a single senior, talk with other family or friends about how you might make the day special for the senior you care about.

As common as it seems for Valentine’s Day, fresh flowers or a box of chocolate are always a fitting way to honor the occasion. Local florist shops offer great delivery options, and with online shopping, delivery of candy and other gifts has never been easier.

Or, skip the candy and chocolate for a gift that lasts longer, like handwriting a copy of a favorite poem or scripture or having a special photograph copied and framed.

Creating lasting memories and giving your gift of time are always meaningful. Plan an afternoon in front of the warm fireplace, take a morning walk at the park, or visit a museum or gallery. Time together and the shared memories are always valued.

Cooking a meal at home is a great way to share time together, and it also is the best way to control what and how much you eat. Any home-cooked meal can be made special with candles and “fancy dishes” too. Taking a cooking class together is a fun way to spend time together and learn new recipes or skills in the kitchen. Or simply try baking a new recipe together.

Ask your spouse or friend to volunteer with you at an organization you’re passionate about. Giving back is a healthy habit that boosts your mood and helps beat stress.

A fresh fruit basket is a healthy way to satisfy a sweet tooth. Skip the chocolate and go for a lovely basket of fresh fruit.

Take a walk together. Regular exercise is a heart-healthy happy that boosts our mood and helps alleviate stress. Your goal should be 150 minutes of moderate exercise each week. Always check with your physician before starting or altering your exercise program.

Other activities can help your body and heart. Activities like writing, painting, drawing, coloring, or yoga can help you relax and even slow your heart and breathing. In turn, this can help lower blood pressure. All of these are good for your body and your heart.

“Published February 2018 in 50-Plus News and Views”