With the introduction of a charming Yellow Labrador Retriever named Lacey, Cypress HomeCare Solutions today announced the addition of pet therapy to its roster of exceptional homecare services. Citing the many emotional and physical benefits of pet therapy Bob Roth, Managing Partner of Cypress HomeCare Solutions declared, “Our goal is nothing short of being the world’s best homecare agency.”
Already selected as the number one home healthcare agency by Ranking Arizona in 2010 and 2012, Cypress HomeCare Solutions is on its way to that goal. The company is consistently evolving and adding new means of exceeding client expectations and improving the quality of life for their clients.
“As a solutions driven company, adding pet therapy to our range of homecare solutions was a natural extension of our services,” said Roth. “By keeping a constant focus on being open, innovative, and continuously searching for new services to benefit our clients, physically and emotionally, we hope to become recognized as the new industry standard in homecare solutions.”
The experts have relied on pet therapy as a valuable aid in reaching out to the elderly in our country; observing the benefits in social, emotional, and cognitive function. “For elderly clients who can no longer care for a pet, pet therapy is a great alternative,” Roth smiled while petting his newest team member. With her kind eyes, gentle demeanor and extraordinary manners, Lacey can’t wait to finish training and start bringing these benefits to “her” clients.
Emotional benefits of pet therapy reported among elderly homecare patients include reduction in anxiety, boredom, and depression. Therapy dogs like Lacey provide social stimulation and many clients display an increased awareness and attention span following their pet therapy sessions.
Studies on elderly patients with dementia have revealed visits from a pet can notably increase patient interaction, improve moods and decrease agitation, as evidenced by frequent smiles and laughter when the pet is present. Observers describe it as if a veil has been lifted, and the patient suddenly becomes alive again.
A visit from a pet can be a source of hope and communication. Looking forward to a visit gives that spark of anticipation all humans need to help feel optimistic. Pets can start a conversation and help those who are struggling against emotional difficulties or physical speech impairment due to a stroke. “Cypress HomeCare team member Lacey the Lab is an excellent conversationalist. Sometimes it’s just a wag of her tail that says just the right thing,” continued Roth.
One of the most important benefits of pet therapy is the ability to give and receive affection in the form of touching. Many people are uncomfortable hugging or touching strangers or even those close to them. For those who are alone and have no hands to hold or bodies to hug, petting a dog can provide a stimulation that is lacking. The nonverbal connection is invaluable in promoting both healthy aging and healing from an illness.
The innocence of animals and their ability to give unconditional love is what makes them special. Therapy dogs, like Lacey, take the human mind off loneliness, grief, pain, and fear. They provide an invaluable service to anyone who needs the miraculous healing that can arise from the direct eye contact that appears to read your mind or the ever wagging tail. According to Roth, “Lacey’s a natural when it comes to making anyone feel better.”
Lacey is currently training with the Animal Actors of Arizona. The training for pet therapy differs from basic obedience training by exposing the dogs to different stimuli such as loud sounds, and other factors they will encounter during their pet therapy services. The program evaluates comfort levels when being touched and each dog’s responsiveness and friendliness around people. Finally, the dogs are tested by a Therapy International dog tester to receive their pet therapy certification.
Lacey is calm, gentle, people oriented, and eager to please. These characteristics are necessary prerequisites to be a candidate for the pet therapy program. A star student, Lacey is expected to receive her certification from the Animal Actors of Arizona in January, 2012 just as she celebrates her first birthday. A visit from Lacey will be a complimentary service for clients of Cypress HomeCare Solutions.