A vote for Valentine's Day

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Elizabeth Newman, McKnight's Senior Editor
Elizabeth Newman, McKnight's Senior Editor
For lucky residents at the Fox Run Retirement Community in Novi, MI, today isn't just be a day for candy hearts. There will be specialty cheesecakes dipped in chocolate, and white chocolate flavored with liquor.

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.


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Daily Editors' Notes

McKnight's Daily Editors' Notes features commentary on the latest in long-term care news and issues. Entries are written by Editorial Director John O'Connor, Editor James M. Berklan, Senior Editor Elizabeth Newman and Staff Writer Marty Stempniak.