Relationships, romance and the elderly

Being young and in love is often romanticised on television and in film, but relationships are perhaps even more important as we get older. People often overlook the elderly when they think of romance but some of the best love stories can be told by our older generations.

A well-liked celebration in our care homes, Valentine’s Day is a special occasion at Barchester. There are many married couples who come in together, and occasionally love springs from two residents who meet in the home!

For many older people, these relationships are a fantastic way to have companionship and connect with another like-minded individual. Of course, families want to be there for their loved ones too, but peers within a similar age group can sometimes understand life experiences better with those that mirror their own.

Making new friends is a big part of life in our Barchester homes. Just being able to be in a room with people you feel comfortable with and care about makes a big impact on a person’s peace of mind. Care homes can be a fantastic opportunity to meet new friends, especially if someone has previously been living by themselves. It means they don't have to go outside to have a conversation or give someone a hug.

Sharing similar experiences bonds many older people together. Research suggests that people who have close friends or partners in later life are often healthier too. Just knowing that there is someone to go outside for a walk with or sit with to eat your breakfast can make a significant difference to someone's mental and physical health.

Knowing an older relative has someone they are close to - whether a romantic partner or close friend - can take some of the pressure off families. It's common for sons, daughters or other relatives to feel guilty about not being able to visit their loved ones as often as they want to because of their other responsibilities.

Having the reassurance that they are well looked after and have a good group of people they can talk and laugh with can take a huge weight off everyone involved.

This is why we value the connections residents at Barchester have with each other, whether romantic or platonic. Valentine's Day is the perfect chance to celebrate loved ones, and get together to make them feel special.

A popular celebration in our Barchester homes, our Valentine’s Day-themed activities include card making, flower arranging, baking and musical entertainment, as well as throwing a Valentine’s Day-inspired lunch or dinners.

Many residents in our homes are married and often celebrate their anniversaries with Barchester. Please click here to find your local Barchester care home, and find out more about our Valentine’s Day events.