What better way to reach the heart, and to connect with memories, than through the tradition of giving flowers? And this sweet guy named Joe – Trader Joe – has recently done this for us.
You see, we’ve been eager to launch a pilot Nature Program as a part of our rapidly expanding and enhanced Life Enrichment programming and activities. So when the Charlotte-area Trader Joe’s supermarkets recently offered to donate free flowers and plants to The Ivey every week, we knew it was time to officially kick off this new program!
And let me tell you, it has become an instant hit with our Members. Many of them have enjoyed gardening as a past or current hobby – so as they arrange these flowers and plants into beautiful creations, they are able to reconnect with this lifelong love of theirs. They engage motor skills, spark creativity, and foster socialization – all of which have proven therapeutic value for individuals living with Alzheimer’s or other dementias. And even Members without the green thumbs (yes, even the men!) really got into it. Check out these photos!
But what I love the most about this program is the healing nature of it. If language skills decline while one traverses their dementia journey, the language of flowers remains powerful – a way to express love and gratitude when the words are escaping us. Working with plants and flowers takes a nurturing touch, attention to detail, and a desire to care for something beautiful – all instincts that, when awakened, trigger healing powers within us.
There are so many beautiful lives thriving at The Ivey. Surrounding them with fresh, vibrant, living things feeds that energy. It brings more smiles to their faces, laughter to their voices, movement to their hands and fingers. It triggers memories, encourages communication and “opening up,” and it stimulates new relationships.
In short, it grows the heart and feeds the soul.
And for playing their wonderfully unique role in helping to make this happen, my personal thanks goes out to Trader Joe’s for their ongoing support of The Ivey.
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