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Flowers promote smiles at Virginia nursing homes

by webdev

March 07, 2013

The dark, dreary days of March are upon us and even though many residents around the nation are hopeful the end of the month will bring spring temperatures, one Newport, Va., organization is looking to spread the cheer of warm weather now. The Daily Press reports volunteers of Sunshine Organization, Inc., recently had the idea to show some love for residents of local nursing homes by bringing them gorgeous bouquets of flowers.

Nicola Fuller, one of Sunshine's volunteers, came up with the idea to bring flowers to residents after her own mother-in-law had to stay in a facility for three months to recover following a surgery. Fuller admitted when she went to visit her relative, countless residents would stop her a long the way just to talk. She realized so many seniors don't get the visits they desire, and she decided to do something about it. 

Over the past few months, Fuller and the rest of the Sunshine volunteers, have made regular visits to five nursing homes in the area to drop off flowers and spend some time with the seniors. Many local retailers donate either money or flowers to help the program grow. 

"I don't know who's more blessed, the people that we go to see or us because you always walk out feeling, 'Wow, that was great, so many smiles, so many hugs,'" Fuller told the news outlet. "If it's nothing other than a distraction for their day, then that's good. But it's more than that."

Flowers may in fact be the best medicine for cheering up seniors, according to recent findings from Rutgers University. In their study, researchers looked to examine if getting flowers would help boost the moods of elderly adults. From the six-month trials, scientists discovered 81 percent of all the seniors involved reported a reduction in depression after receiving flowers, while 72 percent of older adults who were given blossoms also preformed better on memory tests than their peers who did not receive bouquets.

For the past 13 years, Teleflora's cheerful bouquets go to hospital patients, children in foster care, nursing home residents, Meals on Wheels recipients, and many others during Teleflora’s Make Someone Smile Week. It has grown to become one of the floral industry’s leading charitable projects, involving growers, wholesalers, and family-owned flower shops across the country.

Teleflora's make Someone Smile Week, July 21st - 27th.

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