Valentine’s Crafts for Seniors in Assisted Living

Valentine's Crafts for Seniors in Assisted Living

Valentine’s Day is about celebrating love and friendship, and it’s the perfect opportunity to get seniors out and about, connected, and having fun together. A very real danger to seniors is loneliness and depression, especially during the colder months. These Valentine’s Day crafts and activities are ideal for seniors in assisted living facilities looking for a fun way to commemorate Valentine’s Day with their neighbors.

1. Homemade Cards for Servicemen

Valentine’s Day is the perfect time to share happy emotions and best wishes. While some seniors might be feeling lonely at this time of the year, connecting with other people can help reduce negative feelings. A great way to do just that is to create homemade cards for servicemen and women. Gather construction paper, glue sticks, magazine scraps, and other decorative craft items and let seniors create and sign cards for deployed servicemen. If you need a less intensive activity, consider purchasing premade cards in bulk and letting seniors simply sign and write a note. Organizations like Hugs for Soldiers make it easy to get the completed cards into the hands of members of the armed services far from home on Valentine’s Day.

2. Vintage Valentine’s Tea Party

Recent research has shown that creating an environment reminiscent of a senior’s past can help encourage conversations, memories, and positive emotions. Why not give your Valentine’s Day celebration a vintage theme and take residents back in time to very happy memories? Set the tone with some music from the era, and research some old-fashioned favorites for snacks, like petit fours, macaroons, and crustless finger sandwiches. Decorate with paper doilies and perhaps even borrow a nicer old-fashioned serving set. Encourage residents to wear a festive hat, or red clothing to help celebrate.

3. Deck the Halls

Now that the Christmas decorations have come down, you have a blank slate for decorating your facility’s shared areas, hallways, and residents’ doors. Gather up your interested seniors, put out some Valentine’s Day cookies, and let the crafting begin. The end result not only makes your facility look festive, but gives the participants a sense of pride every time they pass by their handmade decorations. Ideas include:

4. Gifts for Others

Seniors may be on limited budgets or unable to easily go out and shop for gifts. Give them the means to make small tokens for their loved ones or friends this Valentine’s Day. For example, small clean rocks can be painted for pocket-sized love rocks keepsakes or paperweights. Seniors may also enjoy making and giving the very useful gift of a Valentine’s Day bookmark, customizing it with small pieces of fabric and ribbon. A collection of leftover buttons make the perfect elements to create a button heart, glued to a small square of fabric, cardboard, or wood. With a little bit or preparation and some hands-on time, they can create a precious gift for the ones they love.

5. Pop-up Cards

From childhood all the way on up to our older years, Valentine’s Day cards are one of the most enduring of holiday traditions. This year, help your residents do something a little different with their Valentine’s Day cards. Any kids, grandkids, or other loved ones they want to write to will get a kick out of these pop-up cards.

6. Crepe-Paper Roses

Who doesn’t love roses? Real ones are nice, but they can get costly (especially in February) and will wilt eventually. Paper roses, on the other hand, can serve as pleasant decorations in your shared spaces throughout the entire month.

7. Floating Heart Backdrop

Add some hearts to your lobby or recreational areas with this floating heart backdrop. It’s colorful, whimsical, and easy to make – especially with a group of seniors to help out.

8. Lacy Votive Holder

Candles add such a nice ambience (and you can always go with the LED version for safety purposes). These lacy votive holders from Martha Stewart can add even more ambience to the candles, bring some extra color to the room, and add an aura of class to any space you put them in.

9. Felt Fortune Cookies

Everyone loves fortune cookies – most people less for the cookie part, and more for the fortune. These adorable felt fortune cookies double as both a nice decoration your residents can help make and a fun activity for Valentine’s Day. You can pass around a plate full of fortune cookies and see what the future has in store for your residents. Take some time to write up some fun fortunes for everyone. Here are some ideas you can borrow.

10. Valentine’s Bird Feeders

These Valentine’s Day bird feeders have the especially nice bonus of attracting some lovely birds to your community for everyone to see. They’re simple to make, fit in nicely with the Valentine’s Day theme and are a craft that even the Valentine’s Day cynics can get something out of. You can make some for the facility itself, and stock up on enough supplies for residents to make some as gifts for their loved ones as well.

11. Fabric Hearts

Finally, we have our fabric hearts craft. They’re small, but beautiful tokens your residents can hang onto after Valentine’s Day passes, or give out to loved ones as gifts.

Not everyone loves Valentine’s Day, but those that do will appreciate having a way to celebrate. Those who don’t normally get into the lovey spirit of the day may still appreciate some extra color in the facility or a few more birds stopping by outside.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Written by Kristen Hicks and Megan Hammons


How Can Seniors Cope with a Mesothelioma Diagnosis?

sMesothelioma still has no definitive cure, but there is an evolving curative approach that has sparked hope for the future and produced more long-term survivors today than ever before.

There is reason for optimism.

There are ways to live with this disease now, turning it from the previous gloom-and-doom diagnosis into a more manageable, chronic condition.

Better diagnostic tools, cutting-edge immunotherapy advances, improved surgical techniques, a multidisciplinary approach to treatment have combined to create a future for patients that didn’t exist a decade ago.

Mesothelioma is the rare and aggressive cancer caused by a long-ago exposure to asbestos fibers that were unknowingly inhaled or ingested.

Although originally thought to be solely an occupational disease in the shipbuilding, construction, manufacturing and military industries, it also is caused by secondhand exposure in older homes and businesses, even from asbestos on work clothes brought into the house.

The majority of patients are diagnosed beyond age 60 because of the condition’s long latency period (20-50 years) between exposure and diagnosis.

A stunning diagnosis can be devastating for a patient and family, often turning a well-planned retirement into complete disarray. But there are ways to cope.

“When hope is part of the equation, like it is today, anything is possible,” said renowned thoracic surgeon Dr. David Sugarbaker, mesothelioma specialist and director of the Lung Institute at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston.

Here are some keys to coping with mesothelioma and giving yourself the best chance of long-term survival.

  • Find a specialty center accustomed to treating this rare disease. It strikes an estimated 3,000 people annually in the United States. Many medical professionals, even many oncologists, rarely see it and don’t understand its intricacies or the latest therapies. This isn’t lung cancer.
  • Join a mesothelioma support group for patients and caregivers. Talking with others dealing with the same issues can be emotionally and physically good. It can remove the feeling of isolation some families experience. The Mesothelioma Center has a support group that meets online and by phone monthly to discuss various topics.
  • Talk to your doctor about possible clinical trials. The latest therapies for a rare cancer often can be found only in clinical trials while they are awaiting approval from the FDA. The newest therapies in the developmental stage are the ones making a difference today.
  • Stay active and engaged. Don’t try and do this alone. Surround yourself with a positive support system. Accept help from others. Raise awareness to a disease that most people don’t understand.
  • Be aggressive in your approach to treatment. Ask questions, discuss options. Seek answers. Too many medical professionals still take a nihilistic approach toward mesothelioma. Avoid that.
  • Explore complementary and alternative medicine beyond mainstream treatment. Options such as homeopathic medicine, mind-body therapies (yoga and music), herbs and anti-oxidants have helped some patients.

Patients are living considerably longer. Instead of the 9-12 month prognosis from a decade ago, patients are living two, three, five years and beyond. The quality of life has improved, too.

The survival rates have increased the importance of caregivers. Their lives and their futures also will be changed. They will be managing appointments, dealing with medical and legal professionals, remembering treatments and medications and doing a wide variety of tasks.

They must remember to take care of themselves physically and mentally to avoid being overwhelmed. Remember: The better they feel, the better care they will provide. They will benefit from support also.

Tim Povtak is a content writer for the Mesothelioma Center and

Elite HomeCare Receives 2015 Best Businesses of North Brunswick Township Award

Press Release | Best Businesses

Press Release

Elite HomeCare Receives 2015 Best Businesses of North Brunswick Township Award
North Brunswick Township Award Program Honors the Achievement

North Brunswick Township, January 11, 2016 — Elite HomeCare has been selected for the 2015 Best Businesses of North Brunswick Township Award in the Home Health Care category by the Best Businesses of North Brunswick Township Award Program.Each year, the Best Businesses of North Brunswick Township Award Program identifies companies that we believe have achieved exceptional marketing success in their local community and business category. These are local companies that enhance the positive image of small business through service to their customers and our community. These exceptional companies help make the North Brunswick Township area a great place to live, work and play.

Various sources of information were gathered and analyzed to choose the winners in each category. The 2015 Best Businesses of North Brunswick Township Award Program focuses on quality, not quantity. Winners are determined based on the information gathered both internally by the Best Businesses of North Brunswick Township Award Program and data provided by third parties.

About the Best Businesses of North Brunswick Township Award Program

The Best Businesses of North Brunswick Township Award Program is an annual awards program honoring the achievements and accomplishments of local businesses throughout the North Brunswick Township area. Recognition is given to those companies that have shown the ability to use their best practices and implemented programs to generate competitive advantages and long-term value.

The Best Businesses of North Brunswick Township Award Program was established to recognize the best of local businesses in our community. Our organization works exclusively with local business owners, trade groups, professional associations and other business advertising and marketing groups. Our mission is to recognize the small business community’s contributions to the U.S. economy.

SOURCE: Best Businesses of North Brunswick Township Award Program
Best Businesses of North Brunswick Township Award Program
Email: [email protected]

5 Key Questions to ask before employing a New Jersey Home Care Agency

In our last blog post, we gave away tips on the process of vacating one’s home and moving into a senior home care living community in New Jersey. This time around our focus would be on care that can be administered in the comfort of your home by a home health care agency in New Jersey.

As this is still a very popular service and a preferred choice by many people, we believe that just like any other decision one makes when it comes to adopting a healthcare service there are penitent questions that needs to answer. So we have listed 5 key questions you should ask before employing a home care health agency.

1)Is the agency licensed by the state?

By law, all agencies are allowed to have a license. It is important to do all the necessary checks to make sure you are using an agency that has been licensed by the state of New Jersey to carry out the home health care. If in doubt, ask

2) Is the agency insured and bonded?
Apart from having a license every health care agency in the sate of New Jersey is required to be insured and bonded. Make sure that you have confirmed that any agency you use fulfill this criteria. Again, if you are not sure whether this is the case, always ask the relevant person in the agency you intend to use.

3) Can the agency provide the services required?
This can lead to you asking questions such as: What services does the agency provide? Does the agency service the area in which you live? Can the agency provide all the services you need? Are services available 24 hours, 7 days a week? Would services begin immediately? If not, how long is the wait?

4) What is the Cost of care?
Cost is a very vital part of health care and it is beneficial for all parties to understand the cost before entering into any contract with any New Jersey Health care agency. When it comes to the issue of cost, the following questions can help make better and informed decisions. What are the total costs of the services you require? Does the agency aspect Medicare, Medicaid, VA Benefits and insurance companies? Are you required to use the services for a minimum number of hours per day or per week?

5) How good is the standard of the Agency Staff & Training they are provided?
The quality of the employees used by any organisation determines the quality of the service they would provide. The Best Health Care Agencies in New Jersey when would easily answer these questions: Does the agency require and verify employee references? Does the agency do a background check on all employees? What are the employee qualifications and their specific job descriptions? Do the employees receive special training related to caring for home health patients? Is the training ongoing?


The key here is not to rush into any decision you make. Always make sure you are asking for references and talking to the right people during the decision making process. The process of selecting a home care agency can be hectic and if care is not taken the wrong decision can lead to dire consequences for the person receiving the care. If you would want to know more about we can help you make the right decision for your home care needs, fill out our contact form by clicking here. We would be more than happy to assist you.