Donating Flowers to a Nursing Home

People love flowers. The global floral industry is valued at over $100 billion. On top of gifts, florists supply flowers to weddings, funerals, meetings, and restaurants daily.

But after the event, the flowers are sent to the compost bin or, worse yet, the landfill. This occurs despite the fact that cut flowers can last between one and two weeks before they wilt.

Throwing away cut flowers after a single event’s use is both wasteful and passes up an opportunity to bring joy to others.

Here are some facts to know about donating flowers to a nursing home:

Benefits of Flowers in Nursing Homes

Assisted living centers, nursing homes, and active senior residences can house many different kinds of seniors. However, some facts hold true regardless of who lives there.

  • Generally speaking, nursing home residents are less happy than seniors who do not live in nursing homes.
  • Happiness is key to good health. Happy people exercise more, eat healthier, and have more social connections. Happiness reduces depression, improves mood, and may even have physical effects like reducing inflammation and boosting the immune system.
  • Flowers make people happy. Over 85% of people say receiving flowers makes them feel special.

Donating a floral arrangement to a nursing home or other senior housing can provide many benefits to the residents including bringing a bit of nature into the housing, improving the appearance, and lifting the mood. But it can also improve the mental and physical health of the residents.

Benefits to You

Scientific evidence has shown that giving not only benefits the recipient. It also benefits the donor. Specifically:

  • Giving increases your self-esteem. You feel more self-satisfaction knowing that you have shared something that improves other people’s lives.
  • Generosity makes you happy. Gift-giving triggers a release of neurotransmitters, serotonin, dopamine, and oxytocin in the brain. These chemicals are associated with the brain’s reward system and give you the “warm glow” that makes you feel good when you have done good.
  • Making people happy is contagious. Making a nursing home resident happy will spread throughout the nursing home to other residents and staff. Soon, everyone in the nursing home will be talking about how much they appreciated the donation and how happy it made them.
  • Giving has measurable physical benefits, including lowering blood pressure and lowering stress hormones like cortisol. Giving also improves mood by combatting depression.
  • Giving creates a social link between you and the recipient. Socialization is critical to reducing the effects of dementia in seniors and even spending a few minutes socializing with you helps.

But you could realize more than emotional benefits. Donating things of value can earn you a tax deduction. Tax deductions for charitable giving have changed significantly since 2019. Most people can only benefit from a tax deduction for charitable gifts if they itemize their deductions rather than taking the standard deduction. But for those who do itemize, donating flowers may qualify for a tax deduction. You should discuss this with your tax preparer and see if you could benefit from donating flowers to a nursing home.

Finding a Recipient of Your Donation

Nursing homes, memory care, assisted living centers, and other senior housing that could benefit from your donation can be readily found. Nearly 80% of prospective patients do their research through search engines online.

You could search a listing service for senior housing or simply Google “nursing homes near me.”

Once you find a nursing home, you should contact the staff to talk about your donation. Some nursing homes might be concerned about potential allergic reactions to the flowers.

Moreover, many senior facilities restrict who and what can be brought into their facilities due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

However, you may be able to arrange a curbside drop-off or arrange to have the flowers delivered to the facility without violating their visitor rules.

Donating flowers to senior facilities, particularly during this pandemic, could bring a bit of happiness to an otherwise stressful situation.

Keep in mind that many seniors in nursing homes have been isolated for over a year and have only been able to socialize through video or voice calls. Donating flowers to brighten up their lives can benefit them and you.

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