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Caregivers give seniors a Valentine's Day surprise - KOAM TV 7

Caregivers give seniors a Valentine's Day surprise

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JOPLIN, MISSOURI -

This week is all about celebrating love. But, Valentine's Day is not necessarily full of joy for everybody, especially seniors.

Mary Riesenmy looks forward to visiting with her caregiver, greeting her at the door

“She’s so sweet. I love her and she loves me,” she says.

But, she didn't expect a Valentine's Day surprise. Local caregivers from Visiting Angels bring flowers and chocolates to seniors who are widowed or living alone.

“I think it’s really important on special days to let them know that we're there and that we love them,” says Beverly Kuehn, Mary’s caregiver.

Mary suffers from Alzheimer’s and visits from Beverly make it possible for her to live in her own home. But the care she receives goes beyond what her family expects.

“It means everything to see her happy and smile and feel so loved. We love her so much and other people loving her so much, it’s awesome,” says her granddaughter Maggie Flanigan.

Mary says she thinks about her family members that have passed away every day. For many seniors, Valentine's Day can be one of the most depressing times of the year. Rutgers University shows that receiving flowers can change your mood. 81 percent of seniors in a study said that their depression slipped away after getting flowers.

“When you do something special like this it kind of lifts their spirit, makes them feel love and kind of takes the view of the sadness away and helps them remember the happy, good times that they had in the past,” says Kuehn.

And hearing Mary sing about love and seeing her daughter Paula’s tears, it's obvious that Mary’s Valentine’s Day has been made.

“She’s sure good to me, I’ll tell you. She’s so good to me,” says Mary.

Visiting Angels surprised 21 seniors who live alone or are widowed with their Blossoms of Love today.

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