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Senior citizens are often left to their own devices as they age and this can have profound implications on the rest of their lives.

Their quality of life can be severely affected, especially from a health standpoint. Research shows loneliness and social isolation have been linked to a wide range of health problems. In addition to premature death, Alzheimer’s, anxiety, cognitive decline, depression, heart disease and high blood pressure are common in lonely seniors.

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According to a recent University of California, San Francisco study, over 40 percent of seniors are said to experience loneliness.

While this is certainly an important issue, there are ways to combat the problem. Group activities and regular contact with loved ones can go a long way towards easing the pain and sadness that isolated seniors feel.

Photo: Pexels/Karolina Grabowska

Even something as simple as receiving a bouquet of flowers can go a long way. Seniors who receive flowers are able to develop more meaningful connections with the world around them and avoid cognitive decline. A florist in the small town of Virgie, Kentucky decided that they would advance this idea even further by taking the time to look out for seniors in the area.

In 2022, the good folks at Reed Family Floral started a program, asking their neighbors and social media followers if they would be willing to sponsor bouquet purchases for local nursing home residents. The program was a major success, as 96 residents of the Parkview Nursing and Rehab Center received bouquets that were provided in bud vases.

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This year, Evan Sykes (the owner of Reed Family Floral) is looking to step it up even more. “We have had such a wonderful response from our Adopt A Resident project and I appreciate all of our sponsors SO much! We have filled all of our original nursing homes, but have since decided to add Phelps too. We have some of these residents covered, but as of now we lack 57 sponsors having Phelps residents sponsored too! Once all of these residents are sponsored, this will have us taking flowers to 350 residents!!” she wrote on Facebook.

For $15.99, sponsors are able to send a bouquet to a resident. Sykes secured sponsors for all residents and is now looking to get started on additional homes.