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Valentine’s Day – ‘My loved one has dementia!’

St Valentine’s Day will mean something different to every person and as the shops are filled with hanging hearts, shop windows are crammed with cuddly toys and chocolates in red wrappings are to be found at every counter, it is certainly difficult to avoid the fact that it is fast approaching.

For some a quickly chosen card for that ‘special person’ will be enough, others will celebrate the evening with a romantic meal and for those that are really into the whole ‘we’re so in love’ thing it may mean a week away at a secluded hideaway!

But what of those who have lost their ‘love’? A quiet moment of prayer and remembrance, perhaps. A dozen roses taken to the graveside or that ‘special spot. I’m certain those who are left alone will spare a thought for the person they have lost in one manner or another. Their close friends and family will be sensitive to their loss and may offer a gentle hug or a few kind words over a cuppa. The day will not pass without a thought to those that are no longer with us.

When the love of your life has a dementia diagnosis it doesn’t make you love them any less. It doesn’t take away your need to feel close and to show them that you love them and still need them in your life. So what if they’re no longer able to purchase and write a card to declare their feelings, so what if they no longer take the lead to hold you and tell you that they love you. You can still involve them in the day’s celebration at some, suitable level.

Whether your loved one is still living with you at home, or has moved in to a Care home or other residential care, you may still be able to do some (or all) of the following.

  1. Take them shopping and buy two cards together. You can sit and write them together too, discuss the words to use inside the cards. It’s those feelings that matter, not the fact that they took the time to organise it all behind your back.

  2. Choose some flowers together, or a plant. A rose bush chosen for the garden at this time will mean so much to you each year it flowers. – Tip; Don’t send anything anonymously through the post as you run the risk of accusations of your heart being elsewhere!

  3. Purchase an activity that is designed with dementia in mind and simply spend the time together.

  4. Enjoy a meal together, whether at home, at the day centre or in the Care home. Speak to the activity coordinator, kitchen staff or manager to arrange this if appropriate.

  5. Listen to some old sentimental records, be sure to include some of the favourites

​Visit our shop pages for gift ideas for people with dementia.

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