Every year 60-70% of residents and patients in nursing homes never see a visitor. Not a family member, loved one, friend or acquaintance. Imagine living out your twilight years apart from family or friends. No loving words, no smiles or gentle touches from someone you love. Over 4 million folks are currently residing in nursing homes and assisted living facilities. Approximately 2.5 million Americans are living isolated, solitary and forlorn lives. Two thirds of them are women.
Since our inception in April 2010, the Forget Me Not Foundation has delivered roughly thousands spectacular donated floral arrangements made up of more than 350,000 individual flowers. These flowers were utilized to craft roughly 30,000 smaller bouquets that brought indescribable joy to these isolated men and women.
Please consider making a donation by visiting www.gofundme.com . Your compassionate gift will help the Forget Me Not Foundation recruit, train and assign more volunteers to insure that thousands more residents can participate in our amazing floral activities and experience the joy and recall wonderful memories of their past.
The flowers that first adorned the magnificent settings of weddings or special events live again through the Forget Me Not Foundation. They go on to delight, stimulate memories, activate senses, exercise decision-making skills and generate a sense of community for the thousands of residents and staff in nursing homes or assisted living facilities throughout Southern California and someday other states.
When the beautiful flower arrangements arrive at the facility, the mood of the staff and residents is immediately uplifted. Soon the arrangements are being disassembled and used in a surprisingly beneficial floral therapy.
The textures, colors and smells begin to activate the brain and touch the heart. The sparkle in the eyes is the first clue, followed by smiles. An overall sense of joy starts to pervade the room.
Soon you can hear the names of the flowers being spoken as the stems begin filling the vases. Next the stories start: “I love calla lilies, my wedding had calla lilies. You know that was over 50 years ago….”, “I remember my mother loved to work in the garden, she loved the roses most, I still love the smell of roses…” This one reminds me of the very first bouquet a boy brought me when I was young….and we were married 60 years….”
Before long the individual creativity is on display; some of the arrangements are subtle and simple, others bold and full. One thing is common, the obvious pride in their creations. It can be seen in their eyes, smiles and body language. Someone calls out, “Look at my flowers”. Others quietly wait to be noticed, arms folded, sitting straighter than when they began, admiring their handiwork.
Not every resident is able to hold a flower or make an arrangement. Physical limitations due to a stroke or illnesses like Parkinson’s prohibit certain residents from working independently. But even severally impaired people can benefit.
A few months ago while I was working with a group in El Cajon, I noticed a little lady with short white hair and a red sweater, seated at a table by herself where a member of the staff had placed her.
With obviously limited mobility she was just sitting, arms folded in her lap, bent over, facing down. Kneeling next to her, I asked, “Would you like to make an arrangement?” I am still not sure if she actually nodded or if it was something in her eyes, but the answer was an obvious yes! Bringing over a small selection of flowers, I began a process of elimination with her: lilies or roses, roses; mums or roses, roses; hydrangeas or roses, roses; white or pink, white; one or a few, a few. No surprise, we created a vase full of white roses. Her delight was discernible, although she never made a sound and movement was slight.
To carry on and expand our mission I need your help. There is simply not enough staff to provide individual assistance during the floral activity. Your generous tax deductible donation to the Forget Me Not Foundation will allow us to recruit, train and assign volunteers during these activities. It will also enable us to purchase needed supplies and equipment to support even more facilities and residents.
When you make a gift to the Forget Me Not Foundation you insure that more seniors in nursing homes and assisted living centers will not feel forgotten. You will help them remember special moments and people whom they no longer see. You will enable them to once again experience the simple joy of holding a beautiful flower and creating something special; making another memory.
P.S. Please help us save some of the thousands of beautiful arrangements that are simply thrown out following events. Your kind donation will enable the Forget Me Not Foundation to salvage these flowers to enrich the lives of those in nursing homes and assisted living facilities.
DonationsSee top donations
- Pat and Verna Dailey
- Jackie Boehme-Mason
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