The Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday periods are often bright, active, and busy in nursing and rehabilitation facilities. Volunteers and visitors abound, and there’s a palpable feeling of togetherness that fills the halls and common areas. On holidays like Valentine’s Day, however, it doesn’t always occur to some folks how important it can be to share our festive feelings with those staying in long-term care establishments.

The staff at Beth Abraham work very hard to provide our residents with a variety of interactive activities to keep them engaged and entertained. There is also a benefit to the familiar structures and schedules of life in a care facility. However, even what we might consider “the lesser holidays” offer opportunities to infuse an energizing bit of variety into a nursing home environment.

The benefit of special celebrations extends beyond activities to the patients’ atmosphere. Big red hearts and intricate doilies warm the walls and doorways. Valentine’s Day cards inspire the comfort of universal tradition with that personal touch that makes them so meaningful. Chocolates and other candies have that magical ability to bring smiles to faces, and flowers breathe beauty and life into a room.

Plenty of holidays come accompanied by cherished family memories, but none is quite as dedicated to revisiting romantic times and connections as Valentine’s Day. It’s been said that some loves never leave us, and there’s nothing quite like that feeling of recalling those electrically charged moments when we felt our hearts flutter.

If you know someone who’s in a long-term care facility like Beth Abraham, or if you’re just interested in brightening a stranger’s week, don’t forget to include nursing home residents in the Valentine holiday. It can break up the quiet hibernation that follows the major holiday season, and it can make the warm sun of springtime seem less far away.