Pet Therapy – Providing Companionship and Joy
What makes a good volunteer?
Volunteers at AseraCare Hospice are very special individuals. They are willing to commit time out of their busy schedules to help provide supportive, caring environments for patients. Volunteers possess some of the following characteristics:
- A caring heart
- A listening ear
What is Pet Therapy?
The AseraCare Hospice Pet Therapy program is one of many alternative treatment programs used to help in the care of patients with life-limiting illness. This program has been recognized as successful for more than 20 years. Trained volunteers bring their certified pets to visit patients and bring them joy, warmth and companionship.
Many patients have to give up their pets and miss the loyalty and happiness their companion used to bring to them. Pet therapy can bring a sense of peace and trust to our patients, as well as providing relief of stress. Volunteer pets open the door to communication, making it easier for the patient to open up and talk with new individuals. The benefits of pet therapy continue long after the visit.
AseraCare Hospice is very proud of the success that comes with the Pet Therapy program. Patients and their families continue to share with us how uplifted they feel with animal companionship.
“The gentle kindness from the animals makes you feel better.”
“Volunteers who share their animals are so marvelous to uplift our spirits.”
“My tears turned into comfort and joy. I felt a sense of peacefulness come over me and I knew at that time that everything was going to be OK.”
How can I help?
If you would like to become a volunteer, please contact us to begin the training process. You must meet these requirements to be eligible:
- Volunteers must 18 years of age or above.
- Pets must be at least one year old.
- Volunteers are required to attend orientation and training sessions.
- Pets must be certified through a proper organization. (We can refer you.)
- Pets must have all current vaccinations and pass a health screening by a veterinarian.
- Volunteers are required to maintain confidentiality concerning the patients, their families and the time spent with them.
- Volunteers should allow sufficient time to visit with the patient.
- Pets must be cleaned and groomed before each visit.
Please contact us if you, or someone you know, would like to become a volunteer.
If you are a surviving family member, we encourage you to wait a minimum of one year after your loved one’s death to serve as a volunteer or participate in public relations activities.