News Flash! Valentine’s Day is Good for ‘Heart Health’

Did you know St. Valentine was Canadian? Well, maybe not really, but he sure understood a Canadian winter. What could be better than a holiday mid-point between December and March, the most brutal months of winter? Great idea!

Valentine's Day & Heart Health

It’s easy to dismiss Valentine’s Day as just another commercial holiday, but if you have aging parents, especially at a distance, it’s an excellent checkpoint for getting in touch, introducing and reinforcing services and support.

Sneaking in Useful Gifts

Valentine’s gifts need not be romantic – it’s a good time to think about what a person really needs, and make it possible for them to enjoy life better. It’s therefore a great time to introduce something a parent might otherwise resist with a ‘we can manage just fine’ brushoff.

Think of what YOU want on a winter’s night – a reliable snow service, a hot dinner delivered to the door, an engrossing video. One crusty dad was delighted with a gift of a Swiss Chalet gift card and an Inspector Morse boxed set, and happily hunkered down with an ear out for the snowplough’s arrival.

Parents Never Use What You Give Them?

It’s a perfect opportunity to implement something they need but would never arrange for themselves; new snow tires, a visiting lube service, a CAA membership, a housecleaning or carpet cleaning service. Once tried, they might be more inclined to continue using these convenient supports.

Can’t I just Send Flowers? Do I have To Call Too?

It’s just too easy to let the gift do the talking – yes, you have to call as well!

We’re Not That Kind of Family  - What Will I Say?

It may seem awkward to deliver loving remarks to your very proper parents! How about something like this:

‘Hi Dad. Everyone here is sending their valentines and Jane, the kids and I just wanted to remind you how much you mean to us. I guess we can be mushy one day a year!’

No Parents?

Do you have any uncles, aunts, or old friends of Mom’s that you called ‘auntie’? Call and reminisce about the paper valentines you exchanged in primary school and ask about her news. A five-minute call takes very little time and will make her day.

So What Does This Have To Do With Heart Health?

If you could see a group of ladies converging for dinner on February 15th -absolutely glowing, all eager to brag about their thoughtful children, amazing gifts and wonderful day - you’d know.

A final tip – follow up by using every statutory holiday for a checkpoint call, visit or opportunity to introduce help and support.

Happy Valentine’s Day! Now pick up that phone!!

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What are you planning for your parents for Valentine's Day? Share your thoughts in the Comments section below.
Related Resources:

Caring for Aging Parents: Siblings Working as a Team

Caring for Aging Parents - Finding Humour

Tips for Caring for Elderly Parents

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