The next time you are at Hamilton, you may be greeted by a four-legged friend in the hallway. As part of its plan to treat the whole patient, Hamilton has implemented a therapy dog program for patients and families.
Researchers and experts agree that pets excel as therapeutic agents in the healing process and serve as a strong antidote to the depression that is often associated with acute medical diagnoses. Studies have shown that patients and family members who interact with a therapy dog experience a decrease in blood pressure and stress levels. A visit from a therapy dog team helps break the daily routine, increases overall emotional well-being and stimulates the mind in compelling ways. Therapy dogs visits offer benefits which include:
- Bringing joy and laughter
- Taking a person’s mind off of aches, pains and worries
- Encouraging the sharing of emotions and stories
- Providing an opportunity to communicate with others
- Lowering stress levels
- Rekindling fond memories of a person’s own pet
Hamilton’s therapy dogs visit with patients, families and Associates throughout the campus including patient rooms, the Judd Cancer Center, the Emergency Department, MICU, and even administrative offices who enjoy their occasional visits. Hamilton’s therapy dogs have their own unique traits: Kavu with her silly antics, Anni with her statuesque demeanor and Shaonia with her toothy grin. They all have the uncanny ability to connect with patients and families as part of a well-rounded care program. The Foundation is fortunate to be one of the locations the therapy dog team visits weekly. Bravo to Hamilton for offering this wonderful service to our patients and families.