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Animal Therapy Provides Comfort, Socialization For Seniors

The Emerald Retirement Residence in Niagara Falls is pet-friendly. Residents get regular visits from St. John Ambulance therapy dogs, and even therapy ponies. Last Chance Horse and Pony Rescue is a non-profit registered charity that takes pride in having been rescuing horses and ponies for almost 13 years as of 2018.

Fran Marten and her dog Chewy visit several times a week. They have been offering their love and care for almost three years. Chewy is a Maltese/cockapoo mix and small enough to sit on laps and offer snuggles to anyone who wants his sweet affection. Chewy is a sweet soul with a soft touch — everyone loves Chewy!

Leslie Teal, the HR manager, brings in her therapy dog every Friday. He is a black Labrador, and he is very comfortable around walkers, wheelchairs and unsteady seniors. Blue has been coming to visit for about a year now. He is a rescue dog and loves all the attention he can get.

Therapy dogs bring joy and comfort to seniors who might be sick or lonely. You can see their mood brighten just by petting a loving dog.

Some of the benefits of St. John Ambulance therapy dog visits are:

  • Socialization — some non-speaking Alzheimer’s patients begin speaking about a pet they remember
  • Distraction from chronic pain while visiting with a therapy dog
  • Comfort and calming effects — it is proven that your blood pressure is actually lowered by stroking a pet
  • Improved self-confidence and self-esteem
  • Feelings of unconditional love and acceptance
  • Engagement — regular visits are something to look forward to each week

Contact St. John Ambulance https://www.sja.ca/English/Com... to find out more about how to get involved as a volunteer therapy dog team member or to find out more about the program. For more information about Emerald Retirement Residence, call 905-358-2500 locally or 1-844-358-2500 toll-free.

Come visit Emerald Retirement Residence https://emeraldresidence.ca/co... at 5807 Ferry Street to see the therapy dogs at work. Unlike with service dogs, who need to be the eyes and ears for their owners, petting is always encouraged with a therapy dog or pony!

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