At Regency Nursing Centers, we allow for domesticated pets to be brought in (under certain conditions only) for the purposes of cheering up our residents and adding to their vitality and quality of life.
Actually, we were one of the first adopters of this modality of care, way back in the early days (before it caught on and folks copied our success) and before it became ‘fashionable and in vogue.’
Today from NEW YORK (CNN)
– Another day at work for these two Shih Tzu’s, Dusty and Buddy, and their handlers Jim and Janice Clifford; their mission to help the sick and their families feel better.
Janice said, “We go up and we introduce ourselves and usually the dogs take over from there because they know what they are trained to do.”
The Clifford’s and their trusty dogs are volunteers in an Alabama animal therapy program called hand in paw. The goal of this non-profit group is to help adults and children with physical or emotional problems feel better through interaction with professionally-trained animal therapy teams.
At the University of Alabama in Birmingham’s Medical Center the dogs are considered canine ambassadors, and they and their handlers have a job that’s both fulfilling and emotionally challenging.
“Some days we come in here and we smile and we get to our cars and we cry like babies.” Said Janice.
Andrea Viverios, a cancer patient, said, “You know that it’s going to be okay, it’s like somehow they’re telling you its going to be okay, don’t be sad today, you know, and they have that look and it just brightens your day”
There are some restrictions for the dogs; they need to be groomed the day before they come, and also hand sanitizer is used before and after the pets are touched.