Valentine’s Day Special
How to show Love to the Elderly.
By Isaac Eranga.
St. Valentine’s Day is a day set aside for the purpose of expressing love gestures to your friends, family members and those around you. It is unconnected with sexual intimacy.
We at the Dagomo Foundation, believe that Valentine’s Day is a great time to express to your aging parent(s) or family member that they are indeed cherished and adored. Spending some time with them can make a huge difference in their day, week and even the rest of their lives.
To this end, here are a few ways to show your affection for your aging parent(s) this Valentine’s Day:
1. Encourage them to reminisce on past Valentine’s Days.
They may have had a very active youth and would love to talk about it. Talking about the past usually brings forgotten happy memories to the minds to our elders.
As many of the elderly are widowed or living alone, you could ask them to tell a story about an especially great Valentine’s or their most loving memory of their former spouse/partner. This is an opportunity to allow them to reminisce on happy memories.
2. Make them a home-made gift.
Sometimes a creative, home-made Valentine’s gift can say more than a store bought one. For example, a heart which has been cut out of paper means a lot to every parent. You could accompany it with a small selection of their favourite fruits.
3.Tell them you love them.
Actions may speak louder than words, but it’s still important to tell them the words, “I love you”. Many of our parents are not used to saying those words out loud… In fact, for most of them “have you eaten?” translates into “I love you”, but speaking the words to them can produce a surprising and pleasant reaction.
4. Bring their memories into focus through a framed family picture.
Family photographs are a good way of bringing memories back into focus. Put the picture in a strategic location and surprise them with it.
5. Give them your time.
Always remember, the most important thing you can give your loved one this Valentine’s Day is the gift of time. Great memories are created this way, and they can replay loving and interesting experiences & conversation when the moment is over.
It is never too late to begin a tradition of showing love, so make today the start of a new way of communicating… with love.
We leave you with these words from Mother Teresa:
“Love begins by taking care of the closest ones- the ones at home.”
Have a great St. Valentine’s day!
With love from the DAGOMO foundation.