Small Gestures on Valentine’s Day Can Mean a Lot to Caregivers

Small Gestures on Valentine’s Day Can Mean a Lot to Caregivers
Remember when pink and white tissue paper was all you needed for a successful Valentine’s Day? The only thing that was more fun than transforming a shoebox into a colorfully decorated mailbox was the anticipation of how many paper hearts would be stuffed into it by classmates. Valentine’s Day isn’t as simple as it was back then, though it’s still a big deal in the United States.

Go big or go home

Valentine’s Day is second only to Christmas when it comes to consumer spending. This year, lovebirds are expected to spend more than $27 billion on the holiday. That would account for a lot of tissue paper, but the reality is that more than 50 percent of those who plan to spend this holiday will do so on candy (I am guessing chocolate, or maybe conversation hearts), while 43 percent will buy greeting cards, and 37 percent flowers. Surprisingly, only 21 percent will buy jewelry, and coming in last are clothing and gift cards. What does all of this have to do with Alzheimer’s disease and caregiving? Many caregivers won’t celebrate Valentine’s Day this year, because it's too difficult.

Sweethearts caring for sweethearts

One in 10 caregivers is caring for a spouse, spending an average of 44.6 hours a week on caregiving tasks. Taking on the caregiving role, spouses and partners report feeling physically, financially, and emotionally stressed. Ev
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