Therapy: From four legs to feathers!

Ben building confidenceAs care givers, be it in a long term care facility, hospital or in private homes, we all hear of therapy as a means of help and positive guidance or support. Therapy has come a very long way over the many years it has been practiced. At one point, when therapy was mentioned, one would automatically envision a couch in an office and a doctor in a white coat taking notes from the person laid out on the “therapy couch”.

Our clients share with us, on a very similar note daily. We are sometimes the only human contact they have for days or even weeks. They enjoy sharing and connecting with us. It is actually a very valuable form of therapy for us as well as our clients. I am always so very appreciative at the element of trust that comes with another human being pouring their heart out to me. This was the case on more than one occasion while I was visiting various homes out in the field and I knew there was something I could do to help.

Many of our clients had grown up on farms and often talk of collecting the fresh eggs, milking duties, summers of haying, spring time and the promise of new animals born to the farm. They miss the scents, the sounds of the rooster, horses, goats and lambs all chattering in a barn yard. It reminded them of happy times, familiar activities and a time when ambulating wasn’t an issue. I am blessed enough to live this lifestyle every day. I wanted to share!

“Animal therapy” has become a valuable treatment that is being practiced more widely all the time! There is no restriction on age, gender, race or religion. Cats are residing within our long term care homes to create more of a ‘home” feeling. Animals heal the heart, the mind and the soul. I have experienced firsthand the value in this. The laughter and countless smiles that have visited and benefitted from various four legged and feathered creatures, will always be held deep in my heart.

Submitted by Rebecca MacDonald, CCA Northwood Homecare