This is one of many free activities.
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Pet Therapy in Nursing Homes has been enthusiastically accepted for decades. Stroking a dogs fur may elicit positive responses and lift the spirits of many a lonely resident.
- To promote socialization.
- Provide a sense of purpose.
- Check ‘Resident Profile’ and choose people who owned or were around pets previously.
- Pet dog should have a docile temperament and obey commands from owner.
- Check with clinical staff for any allergies or phobias in chosen group of participants.
- Ensure pet and owner follow policies and protocols of facility.
You will need:
- A pet dog (family pet or hired therapy pet). There are several organizations offering dog therapy programs that can be found online or you may try the RSPCA, they often run programs.
- A tennis ball
- A dog stick
- Seat 4 or 5 residents in the garden (in the shade).
- Let pet walk around getting to know residents.
- Sit near the residents and ask the pet dog to sit near you.
- Demonstrate to the residents how to play with dog.
- Throw the tennis ball in the air and encourage the dog to catch it.
- Pass the tennis ball to the first resident and encourage him/her to try.
- Let all residents try.
- Do the same with stick: throw it a short distance (5 – 6 meters) and encourage the dog to retrieve it.
- Let residents try.
- If the dog can do tricks such as shaking hands, sitting on command, fetching newspapers, healing on command - let residents have a try.
- Terminate activity after 30 to 40 minutes and inform residents of next visit.
- NOTE: If you have a resident able to hold the leash and take the pet on a short walk, let him/her do so. Accompany resident on walk.