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New program uses flowers to help hospital patients

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – Starting Thursday, a national organization will work to help Hoosier hospital and senior-living patients heal.

Random Acts of Flowers, a national not-for-profit will introduce its campaign to Indianapolis health networks including Eskenazi Health, St. Vincent Health, IU Health and Community Health hospitals along with Brookdale Senior Living.

The group uses what it calls recycled flowers to put together arrangements.

The flowers are donated from weddings, special events, memorial services, local florists and grocery stores. FTD, Pro Flowers and other national companies also make donations.

Volunteers deliver flowers to offer encouragement and according to RAF, proven emotional health benefits.

The organization said studies show flowers in a patients’ room induce positive, healing qualities.

Researchers at Kansas State University found that “patients in rooms with plants and flowers had significantly shorter hospitalizations, lower ratings of pain, anxiety and fatigue, and more positive feelings” when compared to patients in a control group.

RAF said it expected to connect with 12,000 people in various facilities in its first year.

Volunteers were scheduled to deliver flowers to 75 patients at Eskenazi on Thursday after hospital and RAF leaders celebrate the program with a ceremony.