Valentine’s Day Past and Present

Did you know that it’s been reported that a person’s risk of developing dementia rises from one in 14 over the age of 65, to one in six over the age of 80? *

With the ageing population ever increasing, we’re now seeing more older people living in care homes or requiring regular care/treatment. For those living with dementia, some of the main issues they face include difficulty in communication, memory problems and disorientation. As well as helping with orientation regarding day, date and time, seasonal orientation can really help and celebrating annual traditions and holidays offer some fabulous benefits.

Making and eating pancakes on Pancake Day or receiving red roses on Valentine’s Day have long been associated with February and offer opportunities for social interaction and reminiscence, resulting in reduced anxiety and recalling happy memories.

Although traditional celebrations may need to be tweaked slightly, Alzheimer’s Society suggests simple activities such as flower arranging and painting heart shaped pictures can help older people retain their long-term memories, so they still associate symbols such as hearts with ‘love’ and ‘happiness’. Activities have proven to encourage interaction, stimulate conversation and improve the overall wellbeing of those living with Dementia.

Creating themed areas with the use of murals provide residents with choice of where and how to spend their time. They are also ideal spaces in which to celebrate traditional events. A local café with seasonal décor and dishes, a pub with old time favourite beverages or even a simple park bench, all create perfect places to chat and reminisce. They also give a person a sense of purpose and somewhere to go. Valentine’s Day is the perfect time to create a theme for your residents by turning your local café into a romantic diner followed by a night cap in the pub! A Flower Shop with spring flowers – and of course red roses, not only looks great but can be used for a wide variety of activities and discussions. Who wouldn’t like to receive a red rose once a year?

Find have all the tools your need to create your ideal Dementia-friendly environment, including simple hints, tips and advice on how to make subtle and statement changes to fill every day, including Valentine’s Day with happiness.