A vote for Valentine's Day
Elizabeth Newman, McKnight's Senior Editor
If your mouth is watering, thank Kevin Cunningham.
He's the director of dining services who has organized a “History of Chocolate” Extravaganza at Fox Run this afternoon, which will feature a chocolatiers' challenge.
Residents and family members will be able to try chocolate dishes such as the Anatra al Cioccolatoch, which translates to duck with chocolate. Cunningham will serve a selection of cheesecakes that are made from a “secret family recipe.”
Other long-term care institutions around the country will celebrate Valentine's Day by doing everything from making cards to holding a dance. And to the ones who do this, I say, “Well done.”
It's become de rigueur, especially for men and women my age, to boycott Valentine's Day. There are legitimate reasons for this: It's a “Hallmark holiday,” it's not an inclusive holiday for people of all religions, it's depressing for single people, and it allowed Gary Marshall to make a terrible movie. A common refrain I've heard over the years is something along the lines of, “Why should I allow marketers to decide when I should buy something special for my girlfriend/husband/dog?” (I'm not joking about the last one.)
But I think that there's also a less-spoken truth, which is that events like Fox Run's and other Valentine's Day events require not only money, but also effort. When your facility's CNA helps a resident make and send a Valentine's Day card to her granddaughter, or a nurse goes out of her way to find sugar-free candy for diabetic residents, it's one way to show that love and sweetness can still exist in all of our lives.
It's the same thing as taking a deep breath and buying your girlfriend some flowers today: It's acknowledging that even if you don't believe in the holiday, your residents or loved ones might.