Western Springs, IL (January 29, 2007) – Quick, what comes to mind when you think of Valentine’s Day? In addition to chocolate, roses or love, did you think about caregiving? Isn’t caregiving all about love – providing loving and compassionate care for an aging parent or ill spouse?

For many people, celebrating Valentine’s Day can be an opportunity to reminisce about the love of their life. It is also a time to show and tell someone how much you care. Take a moment and consider what love means to you. Is it more of a salutation or a state of the heart?

Many people use the words ‘I Love You’ as a salutation. For example, a person leaving a parent’s house after a delicious dinner might say something like, “Thanks for dinner, Love Ya,” as he or she is walking out the door.

Mary Doepke, Owner of Home Helpers headquartered in Western Springs, IL says, “if you have not looked a parent or loved one in the eyes and shared a heartfelt ‘I Love You’, I recommend you give it a try. All too often in this fast paced world, people take things like love for granted.”

People pledge to love one another in sickness and in health when getting married. As an act of honor, adult children often make sacrifices to ensure their parents receive the care and support they need and deserve. Often it is when a loved one is ill and becomes dependant on others for the basic essentials of daily living that love is tested and experienced.

Doepke says “’I Love You’ are powerful words that need to be said and heard by everyone. As professionals in the business of providing care to people who are aging and ill, we know the power of kind words. We see the joy our clients experience when loved ones visit or talk on the phone.”

In your day-to-day conversations are you talking more about news, weather and sports or are you talking from the heart? Home Helpers offers a few ideas that are easier on the wallet than buying a dozen roses and have fewer calories than a heart-shaped box of chocolates:

  • WRITE A LOVE LETTER. Write a note that tells your parent or spouse how much you love him or her.
  • TAKE TIME TO REMINISCE. Flip through photo albums, share stories and fond memories with the special people in your life.
  • TALK FROM YOUR HEART. Tell a loved one how much you appreciate him or her, share things for which you are grateful and offer a heartfelt ‘I Love You.’

In the best-selling book Tuesdays with Morrie, Morrie questioned why so many people wait until a person dies to say nice things, reminisce and share fond memories. He also indicated how unfortunate it is that the person, about whom the nice things were being said, isn’t there to hear them. Doepke adds, “Why wait? We encourage families to share the things that are on their hearts and let others know how much you care.”