Service and Therapy Dogs for old-age homes – nursing ward
The Center for Service and Therapy Dogs trains service and therapy dogs for old-age homes and institutions whose job is to alert in case of a residents distress, get help and improve the overall quality of the residents' lives. The service dogs are outstanding in their ability to recognize emergency situations (such as: falls, asphyxiation, respiratory distress and more) and to alert in real time. Their keen and over-developed senses allow them to recognize and pinpoint these situations instantaneously and from a distance, faster than humans are capable of doing. An addition of a service dog to a ward allows the staff to identify and respond to these emergency situations! The dog's contribution is particularly evident during the night when the staff is kept to a minimum. Service dogs improve the level of safety and the response time of the staff to dangerous situations (falls, respiratory distress – situations that are life threatening to the residents).
The dog's training process includes identifying emergency situations and alerting the staff by barking, activating a distress button installed in the ward, or giving another tactic signal.
The dog has been trained for both service and therapy purposes, meaning:
- Increase the residents' motivation to do things and to get physically active (for example: preserving various motor skills, range of motion and space orientation)
- Increase interaction with the dog and fellowman
- Increase verbal communication
- Preserve cognitive skills
- Improve mood, self-esteem and more
- Improve the atmosphere in the ward
In the project's framework we teach and train the professional staff how to work with and utilize the dog for the benefit of the residents during regular activities and treatments in the physiotherapy room, occupational therapy, exercise and more. In addition, our Center provides professional assistance throughout the dog's years of service.
Bringing in a service dog to an old-age home makes a substantial contribution to the safety of the residents while increasing their vitality and improving their quality of life.