Pet Love Shack
For many people, life in a nursing home can
cause serious depression. They are no longer independent, and it can be
very boring. A unique program could make nursing homes a much nicer place
When Anna Griffin first arrived at National
Health Care Center she was angry and depressed. That all changed when she
got Peter and Susie.
Anna Griffin, Nursing Home Resident:
"I got something to do now. I got my birds. Iím not lonely."
The center has a program called "Eden Alternative."
The idea is to put the "home" back in nursing homes by letting residents
care for gardens and animals.
John Morley, M.D., Gerontologist, St. Louis
University Medical Center, St. Louis, MO:
"As soon as the animals arrived people who
spent their time in their rooms started coming out. People who were very
depressed began to smile. There was a lot more interaction and perhaps
most excitingly, young children started to come in to visit their grandparents."
Eden Alternative is designed to spark activity
and alleviate feelings of helplessness that many residents find in nursing
homes. It works. Depression is down, participation is up and patients are
Mary Markmueller, Nursing Home Resident:
"When we were little we had a lot of chickens,
and I always used to favor one of the Rhode Island Reds."
Eden Alternative triggers fond memories,
and administrators hope it creates an environment that feels less like
a nursing home.
Jennifer Gettman, Administrator, National
Health Care Center, St. Louis, MO:
"We were touring a potential residentís family,
and the resident turned to the social worker and asked, ĎDo you have to
be ill to live here?í"
Another Eden Alternative home is in New York.
By the way, not all animals work out so well. The pot bellied pigs were
a mess and had to go...and some goats jumped the fence and ate the lawn
If you would like more information, please contact:
Eden Alternative, Inc.
RR1 Box 31B4, Sherburne, NY 13460
John Morley, M.D., Geriatric Division
St. Louis University Medical Center
1402 Grand Blvd., St. Louis, MO 63104
Love Shack - Back
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