Posts Tagged ‘research’

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Flowers and Smiles Brighten Seniors’ Days

by Jennifer Sparks on February 24, 2017 at 10:42 am

20170214_0122As seniors age, they experience different living situations and greater life changes, which can lead to feelings of isolation and loneliness. Research shows that one solution to the challenges seniors face can be as simple as a gesture of kindness. In fact, a study by Rutgers University demonstrates that the receipt of flowers decreases depression and encourages companionship as we age. The research also shows that seniors perform higher on everyday memory tasks and experience enriched personal memories in the presence of flowers.

screen-shot-2017-02-20-at-11-35-39-pmAs a society, it is important that we show the elderly they are loved and cared for. This past Valentine’s Day, the Society of American Florists did just that, as we gave roses and shared smiles and conversations with nearly 200 seniors in two assisted living communities in Alexandria, Virginia. Our “Cupid Crew” was among the 1,000 volunteers in dozens of events nationwide delivering 10,000 roses to senior citizens through the national wish-granting organization, Wish of a Lifetime.

In the Rutgers study, 81 percent of seniors reported a reduction in depression following the receipt of flowers. Forty percent of seniors reported broadening their social contacts beyond their normal social circle of family and close friends. And, 72 percent of the seniors who received flowers scored very high on memory tests in comparison with seniors who did not receive flowers.

img_7195These findings played out right before us as we handed these roses to seniors — their eyes lit up and many seemed genuinely appreciative of our gesture of compassion. This simple gesture of handing them a rose helped to open up communication and spur more lively conversation. It made a difference in their day.

It doesn’t take a lot to change a moment in time, as a little kindness goes a long way. Try it. Visit an elderly neighbor or your local senior center. Want to ensure smiles? Bring flowers.20170214_0101

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Resolve to Be Happy, With Flowers

by Carol Caggiano on January 4, 2016 at 9:47 am

MorningWe have sung Auld Lang Syne and 2016 is underway. We are packing away our decorations and making New Year’s resolutions regarding our health and well being. We are going to exercise more, lose weight, eat healthier, quit bad habits, be more generous, be more understanding and, by doing all of that, be happier. We join the gym, skip the middle of the grocery store and only shop the perimeter, and promise to go to church every week. We might even find a buddy who shares our goals to team up with to ensure good results. Our intentions are sincere and we are off and running. Want to know a secret weapon that can help in our quest? Flowers.

You might think, flowers? How can they possibly help? In a research study conducted by Nancy Etcoff, Ph.D., of Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School it was revealed that people feel more compassionate towards others, have less worry and anxiety, and feel less depressed when fresh flowers are present in the home.  Another behavioral study conducted at Rutger’s University found that nature provides us a simple way to improve emotional health, and that is with flowers. Just having fresh flowers in our living spaces triggers happy emotions, therefore putting us in a better frame of mind to carry on with our other resolutions. Having even small bouquets in the most frequented places in your home can make a big difference. Read More