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Love in later life – what will Valentine’s Day look like in 2040?

By Jenny Ridge

Valentine's Day in 2040If you read my last blog about my experiences of the Sandpit and the year following you will know that I got married last year. For those of you that didn’t read it, I got married last year. With my first married Valentine’s Day approaching I am starting to panic about what to buy for my new husband. I had thought that we weren’t doing presents, but apparently he has planned a surprise trip somewhere so now the pressure’s on!

As part of Team Sandstorm we are pretty immersed in thoughts of the future and what our future selves will want, what the world will look like in 2040. One of the key things that I remember from the Sandpit, was that when talking about the future and our dreams, the dreams we had very rarely included practical considerations, such as warmth, shelter and food. Instead I think we all assumed that all of these would be sorted (leap of faith) and it was the smaller things that made our future a life we would want to lead. It was things like the ability to still wake up with a hangover if we wished, to still have fun and a giggle, to choose to be a grumpy old man and not see anyone if we felt like it!

So sticking to the softer side, what could a Valentine’s day look like in 2040 or maybe even 2060? Assuming that we have made it quite a lot further than 4 months in marital bliss how will we want to spend the day? We may be grumping around talking about the commerciality of it all and how it’s nothing but a gimic for the card retailers to make money out of. Although could well be e-cards or something else clever by then. Or will we still want to make it a romantic occasion? If this is the case is it too much to assume that this will be possible? Assuming that we are still happily married, will we definitely be still living together? This isn’t always the case today, can we hope that it will be in the future? Will we be able to make our own plans or will we be restricted to a communal dining room with a loosely valentine’s themed menu? The people who look after us wanting to provide more, but restrained by budgets, health & safety and limited resource.

I don’t know what we’ll want to be doing, I hope that we will still be in peak health and happiness and maybe sharing a picnic after a bike ride. But if we’re not as healthy as we hope to be, will we be able to find a way to still share our 45th married Valentine Day in a way that we choose? I hope so.

Innovate UK’s Long Term Care Revolution is about trying to find the solutions that will help us to reach the futures that we want to have for our own later lives. Do you have any idea or a project that you are working on that could support this vision? Register your interest to keep up to date with the latest about this exciting funding opportunity.

Happy Valentine’s Day.

Jenni - Team Sandstorm