February gives us Valentine’s Day, one of the year’s best reasons to spoil yourself (or a special loved one) with a bouquet of fresh flowers. Almost everyone does love a colorful bouquet, packed with fresh smells and favorite blooms. But did you know that there are multiple health benefits associated with that bouquet? Here are just a few ways that fresh flowers or greenery can keep us healthier, well into our senior years.
Flowers make us happy
While it might not be surprising news that a fresh bouquet can make the recipient feel happy and loved, the effects of a well-timed bouquet can be longer lasting than you might expect. A Rutgers study showed a decrease in depression signs and symptoms for seniors who received fresh flowers at least once in a six month span. With depression affecting millions of seniors, a reprieve from symptoms can be a simple, sweet smelling bouquet.
Flowers can decrease pain
Sending a bouquet can do more than just make the recipient smile; flowers can actually help to decrease pain levels and pain related body functions such as blood pressure. In a study from Kansas State University, researchers found that patients who had fresh flowers in their hospital room had lower levels of reported pain and lower blood pressure numbers than patients without fresh flowers.
Flowers make us feel connected
Strong relational support and connection is a key to aging well; relationships with family and peers can keep seniors living longer, remembering more, and staying healthy. Sending Mom her favorite tulips or even sending Dad a plant can be a visual reminder that they have someone loving and thinking of them, even if from afar.
Flowers can calm us down
Beyond sending a bouquet, having a plant delivered to your loved one can have its own benefit. Gardening has been found to decrease symptoms of agitation and anxiety for those living with dementia, as well as having a calming effect on the gardener. Your Mom doesn’t have to have a full garden in the backyard to replicate the benefits of this study; instead, a simple houseplant that requires watering and care can infuse some much needed calmness in the chaos of dementia.
Who knew that flowers could do so much for our physical and emotional health? We know that after discovering the benefits of flowers, we had to get in on the fun. Our Blossoms of Love program gives our caregivers the chance to surprise Visiting Angels clients throughout the country, dropping off beautiful bouquets that remind our seniors how much we love and value our relationships. This Valentine’s Day, sow a little health and a lot of smiles to the loved ones in your life too; we know everyone will benefit!