Pet & Plant Therapy

The Therapeutic Power Of Pets And Plants
“An alpaca and a farmer walk into a nursing home…” sounds like the beginning of a joke, but not necessarily an unusual scenario in our homes.

PETS: THE BEST THERAPY LIFE HAS TO OFFER

Elder Outreach communities value the unique and emotional comfort animals offer our residents. We’re always seeking new opportunities to connect residents with furry friends from the community. From an in-house therapy dog to a visiting 4-H student’s show pig, you’ll find a variety of animals snuggling, entertaining, or simply playing with residents.

 

The human-animal bond that develops during visits is mutually beneficial to everyone; animals love the attention and residents enjoy the companionship. Studies have shown that just the nature of some animals makes them instinctive healers for humans, providing unconditional love, emotional presence, and true companionship.

The benefits of pet therapy for seniors are abundant and may include:

  • Lowering blood pressure
  • Releasing endorphins that have a calming effect
  • Reducing anxiety and loneliness
  • Diminishing overall physical pain
  • Stimulating memory
  • Increasing socialization and sense of community

GARDENING WITH A PURPOSE

How very true is the Alfred Austin quote, “To nurture a garden – hands in the dirt, head in the sun, heart with nature – is to feed not just the body, but the soul.”

 

Gardening activities – from tending an indoor potted rose bush to coaxing watermelon up to 25 inches in size – are where residents share the joy of being with plants and reap the many benefits.

 

Elder Outreach communities support and empower residents to create and maintain gardens in a variety of sizes and types. These may include wheelchair accessible garden beds, straw bale gardens, and indoor flower and herb gardens.

 

When smiles are wide and memories are brought back from the colors and aroma of garden vegetables; when residents experience a renewed feeling of purpose and meaning as they become responsible for a living thing; when the sense of pride and value is regained when the garden’s produce is part of the evening meal, we know that the power of gardening has worked its magic.