Growing up, I took for granted that my mother had an incredible green thumb. She would plant flat after flat of flowers around our house. Whatever was blooming at the time would end up expertly arranged in a vase on the dining room table. Even in the winter, she kept up with lots of houseplants or got flowers from the local florist. It was something that was constant, and I never realized what an impact it made until I got into the senior living design world.
Senior living is a unique environment. Although people live there, it’s not like yours or my home where we can (under normal circumstances) come and go freely. There are safety and health standards. Building codes have to be abided by. And sometimes all of those things put together can equal a sterile, commercial environment that is not at all homelike.
What’s an easy way to combat that? Integrating floral into the décor of the community. But why use floral?
Flowers and plants bring life to a space, quite literally. This is especially important in communities where residents are not able to freely access the outdoors so that they can move through the seasons and experience nature.
They’re versatile, and you can use them in almost any room in the building. From a stunning foyer table arrangement in the lobby to a small bud vase on the restroom sink, they add interest just about anywhere.
They are an easy way to bring in color without committing. Unlike selecting a sofa or carpet, florals are an inexpensive way to experiment with color in a space and can help amplify accent colors.
Florals bring about feelings of relaxation. Just viewing them enhances calming feelings and decreases stress-psychologically and physiologically for residents, staff, and beyond.
These arrangements create engagement with the outside world. This engagement reduces isolation and loneliness which may improve immune responses which to fight off a whole spectrum of health concerns, including Alzheimer’s.
Nature mends all. Countless studies have shown that viewing and having regular interaction with nature, like flowers and plants can, enhance our health. Specifically, it helps calm us and our parasympathetic nervous system, the part of us is in charge of ‘fight or flight’. Meaning, residents, residents families, and facility staff can all benefit from integrating flowers into their spaces.
The Physiological and Psychological relaxing effects of viewing rose flowers in medical staff.
This month we will walk through the fundamentals of integrating floral into your community. We will discuss the pros and cons of real vs. fake, the benefits of a fresh floral program, as well as common applications for floral in senior living. Stay tuned for more!