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Problem-Solution Project

How to empty animals shelters and heal the elderly

Naomi Oliver

on 1 March 2013

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Transcript of Problem-Solution Project

Problem 1:
Depressing atmospheres Problem 3: The Neglected Masses Problem 2: helpless victims Results Solution: Problem-Solution Project
March 1, 2013
Naomi Oliver = + What can I
do to help? How do you
know this will
work? Why is this
important? What does this have to do with me? How is this
a problem? A nursing home today
can be a very lonely
place to live. Many
seniors have barely
any family to visit them; some don't have any family at all. Alone and bored, these seniors spend their time meditating; usually on their inadequacies, ailments, or past. This can lead to pessimistic,
hypochondriac, anti-
social, and even depressed
qualities in our elderly
patients. Though nursing
homes are places where our seniors are aided
in overcoming physical obstacles, they are faced with mental trials and troubles almost every day. In 2007, My Innerview Inc. [1] published a survey stating that only 43% of seniors were satisfied with their lifestyle at their nursing home. This is a huge problem because
our seniors are not thriving,
recovering, or enjoying
themselves in the very place
that they should be. Nursing homes have
become unappealing to our elderly, which
is also a serious dilemma. By refusing to
live in an assisted living facility, they
are putting their physical health at stake. Our seniors are not being
shown the continual
attention and affection they
need and deserve. Another class of
alone, dejected, and
forgotten souls are
the homeless cats
and dogs of America.
One of these poor, helpless creatures
are put down every eight seconds [2], simply because they have nowhere to go. These innocent animals
have no one to love
and no one to
love them. Many neglect these deprived
companions, even though
they have been scientifically
proven to help humans. Dogs
and cats can reduce stress [3]
and lower their owner's chances of a
heart attack [4]. They also boost the human
immune system [5], and stimulate the
body's production of endorphins, which
decreases pain, blood pressure,
and depression [6].
These are all important
things we, as humans, need......... ........and we're letting these
medical helpers just slip
through our fingers. These
animals have a purpose, and we are not
allowing them to live up to their full
potential. Both homeless
animals and
assisted living
patients feel alone.
Neither feels the joy
of companionship. As a community, we should be aware of our
elders' needs. Some of those elders might even
be family members. These people and these
animals are suffering in silence. But, these problems can be fixed. They
can fix each other! America's elders and
animals need to feel
satisfied and loved.
Our seniors have the right to enjoy
themselves throughout their golden years.
Animals also deserve nothing less than a happy, long life. Both homeless animals and assisted living patients should live their lives to the fullest, feeling loved,
appreciated, respected, and
needed. If nursing homes adopted pets for their
seniors to play with and take care of,
nursing homes would be more
attractive and welcoming to our
seniors. Also, by having a pet in the assisted living
facility, the patients will improve in their health. After
an Alzheimer's asylum adopted a pet, the following four
weeks showed less behavioral problems in their patients
[7]. Another Alzheimer asylum documented that their
patients became more calm and social after introducing
a golden retriever into the facility [8]. If a nursing home is not comfortable with adopting a full time pet, they could arrange therapy dog visitations for
their seniors to look
forward to [9]. Though this
will not house an animal in
need of companionship, it
could open the doors for permanent pet residents in the future. Animal shelters could
even go as far as to
give basic training to
their animals. That
way, they are more practical for
families and nursing homes to
adopt. Furthermore, by training
their animals, more customers
would come in, and shelters
could raise adoption fees,
bringing in more revenue. By becoming affiliated with pets
and pet programs, assisted living
facilities will find that more
elderly patients will want to
reside at their nursing home. They will
receive positive publicity in the
community, and business will thrive. Despite the fact that
animal adoption is
not yet popular in
nursing homes, it
has been shown effective. Kevin R.
Mcmahon, administrator of the Merriman
Nursing Home in Akron, Ohio [10], said, “The
literature abounds with citations about the benefits that accrue to residents of institutions when animals become an integral part of their lives.” Therapy Dogs International, a pet therapy
organization, states [11], “It is profoundly moving
to see how dogs have the ability to help calm and
soothe agitated individuals while lifting the
spirits of those who are sad and lonely.”
George Whitney, an Orange County veterinarian
also praises therapy programs in nursing homes.
He said [6], “In cases where animals are used in
nursing homes, it's absolutely spectacular the
way it can turn people around......a withdrawn
person comes out of his shell.” Barbara Farling, therapeutic recreation consultant for the State Department of Health Services agrees. “...There's a real trend toward pet-therapy programs for the elderly because it works. People need to be needed
and animals need people,” [6]. Therapy Dogs of Vermont
Survey showed that after being with a dog, nursing
home patients relaxed by 90%, had an 81% increase
of cooperation, 95% increase in positive attitudes,
and decreased stress and anxiety levels by
89% [12]. Therapy Dog Programs and pet
adoptions in nursing home facilities
work! As a citizen, you can help your seniors and animals in a number of ways. You can:
1. Call! Inform your local nursing home about
animal therapy.
2. Train! Certify your pet to become a therapy animal.
3. Volunteer! Train the animals at your local animal shelter.
4. Donate! Raise funds for animal therapy programs.

No matter what you do or how you help, you can make a difference. You can save an animal's life. You can give a senior hope and happiness. You can, so why don't you? References [1] "2006 National Resident and Family Satisfaction in
Nursing Home Facilities" (2007, May). myinnerview.com
Retrieved from http://www.myinnerview.com/_media/doc/national_report/2006NatRpt_Color_042507.pdf [2] "Pet Overpopulation." Humanesociety.org
Retrieved from http://www.humanesociety.org/issues/pet_overpopulation/ . The Humane Society of the United States. [3] Barker, S., Knisely, J., McCain, N., Best, A., (2005).
"Measuring Stress and Immune Response in Healthcare Professional Following Interaction with a Therapy Dog"; pilot study. Psychologic Reports 96:713-729. Retrieved from http://www.pawssf.org/document.doc?id=15 [4] Anderson, W.P., Reid, C.M., Jennings, G.L., (1992).
"Pet Ownership and Risk Factors for Cardiovascular Disease." Medical journal of Australia 157:298-301. Retrieved from http://www.pawssf.org/document.doc?id=15 [5] Charnetski, C.J., Riggers, S, (2004). Effect of
Petting a Dog on Immune System Function. Psychological reports 95: 1087-1091 Retrieved from http://www.pawssf.org/document.doc?id=15 [6] Bass, S.L., (1986, June 1). Nursing-Home Pets a Boon
to Residents. Retrieved from http://www.nytimes.com/1986/06/01/nyregion/nursing-home-pets-a-boon-to-residents.html?pagewanted=all . New York Times. [7] Allen, K., Blascovich, J. (1996). "The value
of service dogs for people with severe ambulatory disabilities: a randomized controlled trial." JAMA 275(13):1001-1006. Retrieved from http://www.pawssf.org/document.doc?id=15 [8] McCabe, B.W., Baun, M.M., Speich, D., Agrawal, S. (2002). "Resident dog in alzheimer's special care unit." Western Journal of Nursing Research 24(6):684-696. Retrieved from http://www.pawssf.org/document.doc?id=15 [9] "Pet Therapy Programs" (2012). mspca.com
Retrieved from http://www.mspca.org/programs/pet-owner-resources/living-with-pets/pet-therapy-programs.html [10] Mcmahon, K.R., (2009, May 11). "Nursing Home
Therapy Dogs: Courage Givers, Door Openers, and Conversation Starters." McKight's Long-Term Care News & Assisted Living. Retrieved from http://www.mcknights.com/nursing-home-therapy-dogs-courage-givers-door-openers-and-conversation-starters/article/136533/ [11] "Nursing Homes." Tdi-dog.org Retrieved from
http://www.tdidog.org/OurPrograms.aspx?Page=Nursing+Homes [12] "Survey Says: 100% would Recommend Dog
Therapy." Therapy Dogs of Vermont. Retrieved from http://therapydogs.org/documents/Survey%20Says.pdf
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