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For Valentine’s Day, Give the Gift of Time

Posted on 02/14/19 by Mary Mazur

Pink balloons

Chocolates. Candy. Cards. Flowers. A romantic dinner. Those are the things we typically think of when it comes to gifts for your one and only on Valentines’ Day. But what about saving your cash and giving with others might really want – time with you.

AARP research finds that 63% of us say that time with a romantic partner, friends or family is the most meaningful way to celebrate the holiday. Just 13% said they prefer receiving flowers, candy or other gifts.

Also, 82% say they would rather spend Valentine’s Day with someone rather than spend it alone. Non-married adults who are not in a romantic relationship were more likely to feel lonely when thinking about Valentine’s Day. And adults 50 and over were nearly twice as likely to report this status.

The research was conducted as part of AARP’s ongoing effort to build awareness about the impact of loneliness and social isolation. It validates what we already know: staying connected to people that matter to us and our community is fundamental to our well-being.

Loneliness and social isolation concerns are growing and may represent a greater public health hazard than obesity. U.S. Census data shows that more than a quarter of the U.S. population is living alone, with isolation affecting 1 in 5 older adults.

To combat this problem, the AARP Foundation is working to foster a deeper understanding of loneliness and isolation and drawing much-needed attention to the issue. In fact, AARP Foundation spearheaded Connect2Affect to find solutions in communities among adults age 50+.

Through research and innovative efforts, Connect2Affect draws crucial attention to the issue and catalyzes action to end social isolation among older adults. It features tools to evaluate isolation risk, including a self-assessment with questions relating to relationships, mobility and major life changes. The site also provides visitors with resources to help them connect in their community.

So this Valentine’s Day, maybe it’s time to rethink your gifts. Put away your wallet and instead spend quality time with your partner, family and friends. And, maybe take it a step further to reach out to someone in our community who may be alone on February 14th.

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