Flowers help stave off loneliness for seniors in hospice care

In San Francisco, groups of seniors are getting something they don’t often get: flowers, and even more importantly, visitors.

“I don’t get flowers too much,” Arlene Dixon, a senior at Royale Assisted Living Home, told KTVU.

Every year an estimated 1.6 million people receive hospice care. Many of them are alone, and don’t get visitors.  The AARP says that as baby boomers get older, almost 19 million seniors could soon become isolated. In fact, prolonged loneliness and isolation can be as dangerous to your health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day.

That’s why a group called the Clayton Valley Garden Club gives out flowers to seniors in hospice care and other similar facilities--to remind them that they are not forgotten, and that people care about them. For some, that makes all the difference. Joseph Cain, an Army veteran, couldn’t even remember the last time he got flowers.

“I’m 82,” he said. “So it’s been a while.”

If you have the chance, buy some flowers or just stop by to say hello to a senior who might be feeling alone. It can be more meaningful than you can imagine, and you might just make their day, their week, or even more.