Rutgers University Study Shows Flowers Provide Important Health Benefits to an Aging Population
Those of us in the floral industry are well aware that flowers are an instant mood-enhancer and provide greater happiness both in the present and long-term. But in case we want any additional proof of the power of flowers, we only need to look at the study done by Rutgers University on the health effects of flowers on senior citizens.
There are currently 40 million senior citizens in America, and this number is steadily rising. These seniors face huge challenges as they age, from depression to memory loss to social withdrawal. Anything that will ease these life anxieties would be of great benefit to our aging population. That’s what prompted the six-month Rutgers study, which demonstrated how flowers ease depression, inspire social networking and refresh memory as we age.
More than 100 seniors participated in the Rutgers research study, in which some received flowers at different intervals, and others did not receive flowers at all. The results were fascinating, yet not surprising, in terms of how flowers help seniors cope with the challenges of aging. Here are a few of the findings:
FLOWERS DECREASE DEPRESSION
Participants showed a significant increase in happiness and positive moods when flowers were present.
FLOWERS REFRESH RECENT MEMORY
Seniors performed higher on everyday memory tasks and experienced enriched personal memories in the presence of flowers.
FLOWERS ENCOURAGE COMPANIONSHIP
Those who received flowers re-engaged with members of their communities and enlarged their social contacts to include more neighbors, religious support and even medical personnel.
81 percent of seniors who participated in the study reported that they experienced less depression following the receipt of flowers. 40 percent of participants reported a change in behavior in terms of social activities, making social contacts beyond their normal circle of family and close friends. Perhaps most importantly, 72 percent of the seniors who received flowers scored very high on memory tests in comparison with seniors who did not receive flowers.
The results of this study are excellent news for anyone wanting to improve the health and longevity of an aging loved one: Make flowers a regular part of their day, and help them live happy, fulfilling lives for years to come!