Thursday Thoughts – Pet Therapy Works

I like to tell people that when I grew up with four older siblings – we had everything that money could NOT buy!  “NOT” is the most important word.  Our father loved animals and we had horses that pulled antique wagons and buggies.  We had ponies and goats that pulled little wagons that Daddy built himself.  Money cannot buy that kind of pleasure. We raised pet squirrels and pet racoons. We had dogs that waited for us at the school door, and I had cats … all kinds of cats!  These were experiences that money simply could not buy!

I can’t imagine living life without pets, and many of our loved ones in Integrity Healthcare Communities feel the same way.  Pet Therapy is a very important part of the care we provide.

Meet Winnie, Jasper and Bailey!  They recently visited some of our communities and they are members of the Heartland Mini Hoofs! These sweet animals are trained to engage our residents, even those who remain in their beds.  They lay their furry muzzles on laps and shoulders. They welcome petting strokes, kind words and soft kisses!

When the elderly interact with pets, we often see improvements in their social skills. Those with dementia or those experiencing depression are delighted by visits with pets.  Therapy pets are trained to show love and companionship. They are trained to be attentive and this aspect of their visit elevates the moods of our residents. Smiles abound!

Winnie and her friends aren’t the only furry pets that visit our communities. We have several units of therapy dogs who visit.  We arrange for petting zoos to set up on our lawns, and they even bring pet chickens!  Our communities have aviaries and beautiful aquariums. Sixty percent of Americans own pets and we want to make sure that your loved ones continue to have those bonds throughout their lives.  We are Integrity!  We provide Care You Can Trust.


Debbie Moore, Regional Director of Business Development