Beauty Blossoms throughout Waveny LifeCare Network thanks to Dedicated Flower Volunteers
Posted on September 26, 2014
With an unwavering commitment to providing quality care within a healing, soothing and therapeutic environment, Waveny LifeCare Network relies heavily upon a special group of volunteers who dedicate their horticultural talent and knack for beautification throughout the eldercare organization’s main campus in New Canaan.
Known to provide therapeutic benefits, improve emotional health and enhance social interaction, flowers brighten each day at Waveny thanks to the numerous “flower volunteers” who create floral arrangements to adorn the dining rooms, reception areas, nursing stations and various common areas at Waveny.
Championed and nurtured by pioneer flower volunteer Allison Caesar over a span of three decades, Waveny’s volunteer-based flower program now has more participation than ever before. “These devoted volunteers not only donate their time and energy, but also personally provide the flowers that are used in the arrangements,” said Debbie Perron, Director of Volunteers at Waveny. “In the summertime, most of the flowers are from the volunteers’ very own gardens. In addition, we have recycled and repurposed flowers generously donated from beautiful weddings and church services. Local stores like Trader Joes and Walter Stewart’s are very supportive in donating fresh flowers as well.”
The flower volunteers – many of whom are active members of the New Canaan Garden Club, the Garden Club of Darien, Stamford Garden Club, the Gardeners of New Canaan, the Beautification League (formerly the New Canaan Garden Center), the Tuesday Ladies and the P.E.O. Chapter N of New Canaan – come to Waveny at the beginning of each week to create uplifting floral designs and return over the days to follow to change water, making sure that all flowers remain fresh.
“It is a win-win,” said Katie Stewart, a member of the New Canaan Garden Club and one of Waveny’s most dedicated flower volunteers. “One of the great joys in life is giving back to the community. It’s so very rewarding to create fresh flower arrangements that bring so much happiness to Waveny’s residents and patients – and staff, too.”
In addition to the floral arrangements within the building, flower volunteers also help to maintain the abundance of plants that characterize Waveny’s patios and terraces. Volunteers not only plant the flowers but also make sure that the plants are ‘healthy and happy’ by watering and cutting the plants back when needed. In short, they care for them in every way.
Volunteer Sheila McMann has been taking care of the indoor plants at Waveny for over 15 years. She comes to Waveny several times a week to water and maintain the plants in addition to serving tea to Care Center residents. “The New Canaan Garden Club has been the sponsor of the indoor plants at Waveny since I approached them nearly 15 years ago,” said Sheila, a club member herself.
The New Canaan Garden Club conducts a monthly Horticultural Therapy Program at Waveny, in which volunteers bring flowers, vases and all other materials needed for Waveny’s residents to actively participate in creating and designing their very own floral masterpieces. The completed arrangements are proudly displayed on the Care Center and Village’s dining room tables for all to enjoy.
“Residents with Alzheimer’s and other forms of memory loss receive important sensory and mental stimulation and use hand-eye coordination in physically putting the flowers together,” said Lauren Elker, Director of Therapeutic Recreation at Waveny Care Center. “This meaningful ‘touch of home’ activity brings them down memory lane and provides new opportunities to discover and learn about flowers and plants.”
To learn more about how you can brighten someone’s day at Waveny through floral arrangement or any other type of volunteer service, contact Debbie Perron, Director of Volunteers at 203.594.5334 or [email protected]
Waveny LifeCare Network provides a comprehensive continuum of healthcare to serve the growing needs of older adults from all areas. Waveny is a not-for-profit organization that offers independent living at The Inn, assisted living for people with Alzheimer’s and memory loss at The Village, and skilled nursing at Waveny Care Center. It also includes Waveny Home Healthcare, Waveny at Home the Brown Geriatric Evaluation Clinic, a Geriatric Care Management team that provides 24-hour coverage, an Adult Day Program available on weekdays with flexible hours, inpatient and outpatient Rehabilitation Services, and respite programs at The Village and Care Center. For information call 1-855-WAVENY-1 or visit www.waveny.org.