It seems that at each stage in life, love’s meaning changes. Today, for me, love is relationships. It is the building and nurturing of the relationships you have with the people in your life. Show up ready to listen, ask questions, and find out what is really going on in your loved one’s life. Simply show up. As a dear friend always tells me: “just keep it simple.” The simplest and smallest of gestures can show love in powerful ways. If you have a loved one in hospice or palliative care, buying them a valentine card might be a great idea. But there are lots of other ways to show them how much they mean to you. During this “month of love,” here are several ways to show your love to someone in hospice or palliative care.
1. Decorate Their Room
Valentine’s Day decorations can be a great way to cheer someone up. Many patients don’t get much change of scenery. Holiday decorations are an easy way to break up the monotony they may experience being in their room. Be aware of any sensitivity of the color red, you may need to use alternate colors like lavender or pink, but your loved one will still know how much you care.
2. Extra Quality Time
Because Valentine’s Day is about love, it may be a particularly difficult day for a patient. Make extra time this month to be with your loved one, especially on the holiday itself. Find ways to make your visits longer. Bring photos, play board games, or ask them to tell you stories from their life. You will benefit as much as they will.
3. Plan a Special Outing
Many hospice patients are still able to do a lot. Therefore, find something they enjoy and plan a day to do it with them. Take them to a favorite place or to visit someone they haven’t seen in a while. If they are not able to get out, bring the “outing” to them. Bring a movie, a special meal, or a friend to visit.