Valentine’s Day is more than just a holiday invented by greeting card companies — the festival has ancient roots from pre-Roman times and is celebrated in various forms throughout the world. Originally called Lupercalia, the festival marked the early beginnings of spring and was a celebration of fertility. Ancient Greece also had a festival around this time of year that honored the marriage between the goddess Hera and the god Zeus. In later years, the Catholic church commemorated February 14th for two martyrs named Valentine — one of whom was known for decreeing the marriage of soldiers who were forbidden to marry at the time. While these traditions may differ, they share a focus on fertility, romance, and love.
Valentine’s Day Reminders for Home Caregivers
This day of love also offers three helpful reminders for home caregivers that can improve the well-being of their clients and the quality of their home care services.
1. A Reminder About Heart Health
The most common symbol associated with Valentine’s Day is the heart. As home caregivers often work with seniors and people with disabilities who have heart conditions, Valentine’s Day is a great reminder to check in on heart health. Have the seniors in your care had a healthy heart check-up recently? Are you up to date on the latest advancements in treatments for heart conditions? It’s a good time to check in about the health of your own heart, as well. Home caregiving is a rewarding but demanding job and home caregivers can easily develop burnout and compassion fatigue without realizing it, both of which put stress on the heart. A fun way to celebrate looking after your heart on Valentine’s Day is making and eating heart healthy foods, such as recipes that contain flax, nuts, berries, oatmeal, and — a Valentine’s favorite — dark chocolate.
2. A Reminder About Compassion
Compassion is a job requirement that is unique to vocations like home caregiving. While you may want to celebrate Valentine’s Day with your clients, remember that for many seniors who have lost loved ones, Valentine’s Day can be a sad time of year. Use the day as a reminder to check in on the emotional well-being of the seniors in your care and to see if you can expand your well of compassion even further. However, also remind yourself that compassion is not an infinite resource. Even the most caring and empathetic people can become overwhelmed when they're faced with emotionally stressful situations every day. People who are particularly compassionate may actually be at higher risk for becoming too overwhelmed to cope. This Valentine’s Day, remember to have compassion for yourself as well as the people in your care.
3. A Reminder About Cognitive Health
One of the best parts about celebrating Valentine’s Day is getting crafty! Making crafts and engaging in mindful activities are great ways to improve cognitive ability and emotional well-being. According to the Journal of Neuropsychiatry, crafting can potentially reduce the chances of developing mild cognitive impairment by 30-50%! This means that even the simple act of crafting valentines can improve cognitive ability and help with dementia symptoms. Other Valentine’s Day crafts and activities include:
Making heart-shaped cookies
Paint-by-number Valentine’s Day art
Listening to love songs
Watching romantic movies
Reading love stories
Singing love songs
Making homemade bath bombs and soaps
These are just some ideas to get you started! The added bonus of making Valentine’s Day crafts is that they can later be given as valentines to the special people in your life.
The Heart Healthy Benefits of Home Care Services
Valentine’s Day is also a good reminder about the benefits of home care services. Home caregivers at Alegre Home Care love the services they offer! Home caregiving provides people with the lovely gift of being able to age or recover from illness within the comfort of their own homes. Maintaining a sense of familiarity and comfort often allows people to heal more quickly and to age with dignity and grace. Reduced stress results in benefits for heart health and decreases risks for illnesses such as cardiovascular disease.
If you are interested in home care services, please inquire about the qualified home caregivers at Alegre Home Care.