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Elderly couple on valentine's day

Celebrating Valentine’s Day with Seniors

With February 14th approaching quickly, this is a good time to start planning for Valentine’s Day and how to make it a fun day for seniors. Because people associate this special holiday with love, it’s the perfect occasion for celebrating all the love they deserve. And because we decorate for Valentine’s Day with hearts, it’s a great time to encourage heart-healthy activities.

Have fun with the decorations.

Set the mood in advance by dressing your space up with plenty of fun Valentine’s Day decorations. If you feel like it, paint it all red and pink, with balloons, streamers, and even fresh flowers. You can even invite friends, family, and especially grandchildren, to come over and help, including making their own decorations. You’ll need to have plenty of red construction paper and crayons, as well as safety scissors. After all, the more fun you can make the decorations, the more you’ll enjoy the holiday.

Watch a romantic movie… or two… or three!

One of Hollywood’s favorite topics to make movies about is the love story. Practically since the medium was invented, film-makers have been following the emotional ups and downs of their main characters as they try to find love and hold onto it. Holding a romantic film festival in your living room is a great way to celebrate Valentine’s Day, either with friends or your special loved one, and will certainly lift your spirits.

No matter what you consider the Golden Age of Hollywood, there are plenty of options available. In fact, here is a list of some of the most popular love stories on film from each of the last decades:

  • Roman Holiday (1953)
    The story of a princess who falls for an American newspaper reporter while enjoying the sights of Rome. Stars Audrey Hepburn, who won an Academy Award, and Gregory Peck.
  • Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961)
    Also starring Audrey Hepburn, this is the story of two people falling in love while they’re both trying to keep their secret pasts hidden.
  • The Way We Were (1973)
    Set in a time span that runs from the late 1930s to the late 1950s, The Way We Were stars Robert Redford and Barbra Streisand as an unlikely pair with widely different backgrounds trying to find love.
  • When Harry Met Sally (1989)
    This movie follows the lives of Harry and Sally, who meet as college graduates sharing a ride back home to New York from Chicago. They go from hating each other, to becoming friends, to eventually finding love over a ten-year period.
  • Titanic (1997)
    For most people, just mention the names, “Jack and Rose,” and they know what movie you’re talking about. It’s the love story between Jack, a poor artist, and Rose, a high-society girl aboard the doomed Titanic. Stars Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet.
  • The Proposal (2009)
    Sandra Bullock and Ryan Gosling portray a hard-driving boss and her ambitious assistant, who hatch a plan to get married so she won’t be deported to Canada. Of course, pretending to be married eventually leads to true love.
  • La La Land (2016)
    An aspiring actress and a jazz musician fall in love, then try to navigate a life of success in Hollywood while keeping their love intact.

Make Valentine’s Day treats from scratch.

This will be great for sharing during your romantic movie film festival! Put out a tray of fresh fruit, especially the kinds of fruit that will go with all your red and pink Valentine’s Day decorations, like strawberries, cherries, raspberries, dried cranberries, and watermelon slices. If you prefer to do some baking, heart-shaped sugar cookies with pink frosting covered in red sprinkles would certainly be appropriate. Or consider making rice krispy treats using pink marshmallows, which you can purchase at the grocery store.

Couples’ spa treatment

Make an appointment at a nearby spa for you and your special someone to get a couples massage. Choose from a variety of spa treatments that you would both find enjoyable and relaxing and that you can do side by side. Facials, manicures, and pedicures are also very relaxing and will leave you feeling rejuvenated. Call ahead or go online to make sure they offer the spa treatments you want, and to make reservations.

Go for a heart-healthy walk.

Whether you’re walking with a spouse, partner, or friend, or as part of a group, walking is a great way to enjoy some social time while improving your heart health. Walking, even at a leisurely pace, gets your heart rate up and improves circulation throughout the body, while also burning calories. Additionally, walking helps you strengthen your bones, which is very important as we age. Research has even shown that walking enhances your mood, improving your emotional state substantially.

So have some fun with Valentine’s Day this year, and make it an enjoyable, memorable, and most of all, healthy celebration!

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