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Valentine’s Day is a great excuse to shower your favorite people with love — and there’s no reason that love should be limited to romantic partners. If you have a senior loved one in assisted living or dementia care, take some time this Valentine’s Day to show them you’re thinking of them with a handmade gift. These are some of our favorite crafts for saying “I love you” to a senior loved one without breaking the bank.

1. Memory Scrapbook 

Maybe your senior loved one’s residence is already well-decorated and homey-feeling, or maybe it’s sparsely decorated. Either way, there’s always room for more family memories! If you have access to old photographs from your loved one’s life, bust out the Mod Podge and colorful paper and make a memory scrapbook. Visit Scrapbook Creations in Spartanburg for supplies or inspiration. 

2. Photo Collage

Can’t find those old photos? Book a family portrait session with a local photographer. Bring your senior loved one along so that they can have some new, glossy shots of the whole family. Even better: Get them involved in picking which outfits, color schemes, or props to include in the photoshoot. When the photos are done, have your loved one pick their favorites and make a collage out of them!

3. Painted Woodblock

AR Workshop Spartanburg is hosting several kid-friendly Valentine’s-themed craft workshops this February. A hand-painted woodblock sign from a grandkid is the perfect gift to brighten a grandparent’s day (and living space). AR Workshop has plenty of cute designs to choose from, or you can create a custom design featuring your senior loved one’s name or a symbol that is meaningful to them. Make sure to register in advance for one of these workshops — and see if Grandma or Grandpa want to tag along to see the artist in action!

4. Heart Haiku

All you need for this sweet craft is some nice-quality paper, your favorite markers or colored pencils, and your creative juices. Haiku is a traditional Japanese form of poetry that is short and sweet — one line of five syllables, a second line of seven syllables, and a third line of five syllables — making it the perfect size for a small, heart-shaped piece of paper. Typically, haiku are about nature, so you could write about a place in nature that is important to your senior loved one, but you could also bend the rules and write about what you love about them instead. Get the grandkids in on the fun (just make sure to cut their heart shapes out for them!); have everyone in the family write a heart haiku for your senior loved one, then string them together to make a decoration for their residence.

5. Painted Pottery

Paint-your-own-pottery studios are fun for the whole family, and there’s almost no limit to what you can paint. Maybe Grandpa needs a bowl for his pocket change, or Grandma could use a ring stand to keep her wedding ring on at night. How about a “World’s Greatest Dad” mug or a small tile with your mom’s favorite quote on it? Take just the grandkids ahead of Valentine’s Day and make it a surprise, or take your senior loved one along so they can unleash their inner artist. Hearts of Clay in Spartanburg and Color Clay Cafe in Greenville are two great local options.

6. Jewelry

Your senior loved one has likely received plenty of jewelry in their lifetime, but nothing says “I love you” like a handmade bracelet or necklace from an adult child or a grandkid. Visit your local Michaels or Hobby Lobby for supplies, or take a quick road trip to Panda’s Crossing in Mauldin or Off the Beaded Path just across the North Carolina border in Forest City.

7. Handmade Card

If you’re short on time or money, there’s no need to go all out; the simple gesture of a handmade Valentine’s card will mean the world to your senior loved one. A card can be as simple as an “I love you” written on the front of a piece of paper in colored pencil or as complex as stamps or ribbons on pre-folded cardstock. Whatever design you come up with, your loved one will know it came straight from your heart — don’t be surprised if you see it displayed in their room during your visits long after February.

Your senior loved one doesn’t need an expensive or flashy gift to know you care; they just want to feel cared for. At Eden Terrace of Spartanburg, we strive to make sure all of our residents feel loved during this season and all year long. Come visit us to see what a difference Eden Terrace can make in the life of your senior loved one.

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Cindy Hughes

About the Author: Cindy Hughes

Eden Terrace is a special community and we pride ourselves on helping families during good times and difficult times. I am truly blessed.

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