Nature|Animals
 ::  Group General Men Women Alzheimer Low Function
Pet Companion
Description : -To give the resident a sense of belonging and that they are needed. To give them a sense of worth in what they do, by Sharon Ray-Cassedy
Materials :

  • A bus to transport the residents to the animal facility.
  • Emergency forms to accompany the residents while on this trip
  • Bottled water
  • Instructions :

  • Call your local animal shelter or SPCA and find out the hours where volunteers can come in and visit with the dogs/cats.
  • Many shelters have certain hours on certain days where they accept volunteers to come in and just visit with the animals.
  • This gives both the animal and resident therapy.
  • Once you get a Shelter established, then you should proceed to prepare a sign-up sheet and consent form for this community activity.
  • You must be careful, If this is a low functioning group, then appropriate staff members must accompany the group.
  • Find out if anyone has any allergies to animals. If this is so, then it is best that they do not attend this activity.
  • Once you get your list of residents who want to go, call the Shelter and let them know how many residents that you will be bringing. The shelter will have time to set up areas for the residents to visit with the dogs/cats.
  • An Activity Assistant should go with them.
  • When they have visited the animals for about an hour, then have the bus return them to your facility.
  • Be aware of those residents who are fearful of dogs or cats, as this would not be an appropriate activity for them.
  • Also be aware of any allergies that they may have.
  • Make sure that the low functioning have a staff come with them.
  • This activity could also be at a pet shop.
  • Many times I have taken a group on an outing to a pet shop where they have cats/dogs and we have had the store set aside an hour for the residents to visit the animals as volunteer companions.
  • This is a great activity for those who are elderly. It gives them comfort knowing that they have been a companion to an animal who is lonely, and it also gets them out in the community.
  • They integrate in the animal shelter with the workers who are there or at the pet store.
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