When we think of Valentine's Day, our thoughts usually are of a romantic nature. We think roses, candy and gifts.
But for many elders, it can bring painful thoughts of a lost loved one.
For them, Valentine's Day is often about remembering and reminiscing, and of sadness.
Being alone is tough at any time, but on a day that celebrates couples it can be even tougher.
So why don't we think of Valentine's Day as a day for all kinds of love. Love for family and friends.
As The Beatles said "All You Need Is Love," and that rings even more true when it comes to elders. Loneliness is one of the biggest problems elders face every day.
This year, let's promise to show more love to the older people in our lives. We can all help by keeping them active, helping them meet new people, and encouraging them to get out of the house.
Aging has already taken so much from many of our older loved ones. Many can't drive anymore, their eyesight might be failing and some are in poor health. They have lost their independence and may have outlived many of their friends, as well as a spouse. Let's not take love away from them as well. This Valentine's Day, reach out to an elder in your life. Show them that there still is love in their life. It could be the love of family, friends and even the unconditional love of a pet. It may not be romantic love, but it's love and it's vitally important.
• Karen Perry is the executive director of The Lodge Assisted Living Facility in Carson City.