One of the wonderful integrated therapies we provide in hospice care is pet therapy. I've been very fortunate enough to facilitate sessions for several patients. It is so rewarding for all parties. The other day, my friend Sherri posted this video of Baxter, a service dog. Danny and Marisa were at the table when I was watching the video. I was so excited to share with them what I do, what facilitating a session means. We were all in tears, but not with complete sadness. They were tears of compassion.
Next week I have two sessions: one to help a patient with a relocation from her assisted living apartment to a skilled nursing home; and, one for a patient that is bedbound and wants to 'snuggle' with a dog but is high risk for skin tears. The other time I facilitated a session was with an Alzheimer's pt to help bridge communication as she had lost the ability to complete thoughts. As she stroked the dog's back, she was able to complete 5-6 word phrases and talk with her daughter. It was beautiful. This is such a wonderful part of my job! When I get home, I hug my doggies and realize they are a part of our family! Hope you enjoy the video.