Healers in Fur Coats
In September, PVE celebrated Active Aging Week and we certainly enjoy a wide variety of physical fitness activities designed for every level of ability here. But wellness means more than just strong biceps and flexible joints. It also includes our sense of social and emotional wellbeing, and that can be a challenge as we age and become less mobile and have fewer opportunities for social interaction.
Residents, especially at Quail Creek, Laurel Creek and Deer Creek, have learned the joy and comfort that can come from just spending some quality time with their four legged neighbors. Quail Creek residents can have their own pets live with them and help share their loving presence with everyone. Pets are also welcomed for visits at Laurel Creek and many residents in independent living make a special effort to bring their pets over to socialize. One of those visiting pets, Linda McCrory’s beloved Abby, recently passed away and was honored by a special Memorial of Life Celebration by the Laurel Creek community that had received her therapeutic care for so many years. If you happen to have a gentle and well-trained pet, please consider volunteering at Laurel Creek. Special markers are placed on the doors of residents who would welcome visits and staff would be happy to help you get started.
The benefits of animal therapy to help soothe and calm those in need — or simply experience the joy and comfort that comes from being loved and giving love — is well documented. Recently the Wellness staff at PVE has begun exploring additional avenues to fill this need using virtual pets that look and feel like real pets and even respond to motion and touch. “Tabby the Cat” and “Perry the Dog” have been introduced at Laurel Creek and Deer Creek and a very animated robot named Jibo may not be far behind.