Valentines for Seniors or Mid-Winter Smiles

by francy Dickinson                      Note my web site is updating will announce when all in place again 🙂

Dear Francy: Can I tell you how unhappy my uncle is right now? He’s in care center- bored, nothing going on. The Superbowl was fun for him but now…what? I brought him a magazine but he just put it on his side table- not interested. I want him to live with happiness in his life. How can I help him with that?

How kind you are to even care and go and visit. It just takes a half hour to visit and costs nothing to sit and chat, you are adding so much quality to his routine. It may seem like you’re doing very little, but it’s a huge thing to have a friendly face visit you during the day in a care center.

Valentine is a perfect time for all seniors men or women. Arrive with an arm full of valentine stuff from the dollar store. Put up the hearts around the door and have a big bowl of candy so the staff and visitors get a treat each time they come in the room. It will keep everyone perky and talking about happy things.

I first gave a battery operated Valentine Dancing Monkey to my Uncle many years ago. It played a funny Elvis tune and moved all around when you pressed the button. He listened to it and laughed and tucked it into his walker and took it with him to the dinning room. He showed it off and other seniors laughed and moved around to the music.

A few years later, when I had momma at my home, I found a delightful one with boy and girl bears dancing together to music. Mom would have everyone that entered the door push the button and she would laugh. It just brings down the stress and adds a little silly moment to a life that is lonely. I suggest this action to all who have elders in care, or at home with limited mobility…its just for fun. It may seem like its childish, but some times childish is just whats needed.

To laugh at silly things is important. To talk about love is the perfect timing around Valentines. Talk about family members that have passed and let the senior express their feelings. Ask them when they first met their spouse, if the spouse has passed this lets old memories flood forth and you enjoy the family history with them.

I love the way elders talk about the past. They do not try to hide any of the off color stories or the bad choices, they talk about them and laugh. Aunts and Uncles you always thought lived perfect lives,  suddenly sound like everyday people.  The stories become funny and the memories are alive and happy.

Most elders, even those with dementia problems, will remember things from their early days. You will enjoy the talks about being shy and finally asking someone to dance and then winding up marrying that young girl. Or my mother’s story of daddy paying a neighbor boy to keep him informed if mom had a date with another boy. Daddy would mysteriously appear on the door step as she returned home from her date.  Preventing  mother’s possible good nite kiss with a rivil suiter.  Mom did not learn of the plot till many years later.

Talking about fun things, sad things…they help the senior adjust to life and tuck in memories of their past. It’s very good for them and great interest for you. All started over a simple heart decoration and a piece of candy.

Don’t forget if your senior was always an animal person, bring your dog to visit with a big red bow and some valentines hanging off of their collar. Just give the dog a bath and take it for a good walk around the block so it can go potty and get its energy out. Then visit the senior for 15 minutes. Always inform the office or care giver before you arrive with the dog, but I have rarely had a NO in all the years of bringing in my Bichon for elders to hug. The dog adores the visit and the attention and the senior and their friends are thrilled to just pet a sweet dog.

If children are too young or too restless to bring for a visit, then do a video and place it on your laptop and show it while you’re there. You can have the kids making a valentine around the table at home and then give the senior the valentine so they feel a part of  the activity.

If you want to flip for something fun, there are great pajamas with hearts and inexpensive jewelry with hearts to adorn your senior lady’s neck. You can imagine the surprise of jewelry (even just for fun) for a lady that is unable to get out and about. Not to mention the laugh that an elder man will have with heart shaped sleeping bottoms. Its just for fun.

If you become the energy with the spirit of Valentine – the senior feels that spirit and reacts well with your surprise visit. It’s just one more way to share happiness and love with those that have given so much to all the rest of us through the years. Here’s an easy recipe to make candy truffles to take to the care center or senior’s home. give this a try it is not hard to do, I am doing it with my young niece this coming weekend.

Anyone can make these (even the guys) they are easy and super yummy…makes a nice gift and treat!


  • 1 (8 ounce) package Cream Cheese
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp coffee (fresh from the coffee maker)
  • 12 (1 ounce) squares Semi-Sweet Baking Chocolate, melted
  • 1  teaspoons vanilla
  • Suggested coatings, unsweetened cocoa, powdered sugar and/or Coconut I always use cocoa for the coatings it makes it so yummy (looks just like a truffle from the ground)


  1. Beat cream cheese in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Gradually add sugar, mixing until well blended.
  2. Add melted chocolate, coffee and vanilla; mix well. Refrigerate 1 hour or until chilled.
  3. Shape into 1-inch balls. Roll in cocoa, powdered sugar or coconut. Store in refrigerator.
  4. I always buy a storage box at the $store, for Valentine they would have a plastic red heart box that is perfect storage for these little gems. They are rich and good and you can give just a few and spread them around to friends, family and your special senior in care! YUMMY

Talk again soon, I am working on my website this week and will have it going again and looking fresher and filled with fun stuff…please do follow me on twitter @seniorcaretips – francy

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