"Animals help patients keep their mind off their problems," says Jean S. Uehl, the director of nurses. "The love the patients get from the animals is unconditional." One particular stroke patient was withdrawn and rarely smiled, until she began to play with the resident cat. The patient and the cat became closely bonded to each other, and when the cat had kittens, "they became like the patient’s babies," according to Uehl.
The kittens played and slept on a tray on the resident’s wheelchair and slept in a chair near her bed whenever they could. The kittens brought the resident out of her shell and she began to talk and smile. "The kittens in particular get all the residents’ attention," says Uehl. "Everyone always wants to know where they’re at and what they’re doing." When there are kittens in the building, a number of residents stay busy all day, following them, playing with them, and keeping an eye on them. ~ From HealthyPet.com
Consider taking your pet to visit residents at a nursing home or an elderly neighbor. They do NOT have to be registered therapy animals. Call your l ocal nursing homes and ask about their policies. Usually only updated shots are required for your pet. Don't have a pet? Go hold a residents hand instead. ♥
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