Valentine's Day is Sunday, February 14, and while you may be making plans to get your sweetheart a card and some candy or to hand out treats to your friends and co-workers, there are some people in need of love that we shouldn't forget - our seniors.

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This time last year, COVID-19 was just starting to spread across the United States, but hadn't yet upended our lives. Less a month later, many senior living facilities were closed to public visits and seniors living at home were being asked to isolate themselves for their own safety.

Even in normal times (whatever those were), seniors were at higher risk for loneliness and the very real health threats that come with it. Now so many of our elders are unable to see their families for long periods of time or even hug them. That can't be easy to cope with.

There are some simple things we can all do to make sure our elders know we love them, they're in our thoughts, and we appreciate all they've done for us.

For instance, your family, office, class, or organization could make Valentine's Day cards and treat bags for senior living facilities in and around your town. The bags could include puzzles and games, candy, and notes of encouragement, thanks, and inspiration.

If you have an elderly family member who's quarantining, pay them a visit while practicing physical distancing. That could be via video call or by visiting them at home and standing a few feet from the door or a window to have a nice chat. Leave a little something like a card or their favorite candy on the doorstep or in their mailbox before you leave to let them know you are. If anything, at least give them a call on the phone and let them know you're thinking about them.

If you have an elderly neighbor, check in on them (with COVID safety in mind, of course) and let them know you're happy to help them some time if they could use a hand with yard work or even just dragging their bins to the side of the road.

If, like me, you care for an older family member in your home, fix them a special meal or make them a handmade card or gift to show that they mean a lot to you and that they're not a burden. In my experience, an older family member you care for can sometimes feel that way, so it's vitally important to reassure them that you're happy to care for them the way they cared for you when you were young.

Whatever you choose to do, just make an effort to help our elders know that they're loved and appreciated this Valentine's Day. Everyone can use a boost this time of year, especially with a pandemic on that's forced so many people to go into isolation.

It's the time of year for spreading love, after all.

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