A new breed of therapy for South Mississippi seniors

It’s a time that’s supposed to be their golden years, but the COVID-19 threat is targeting our treasured senior population, even trying to tarnish what should be the best years of their life.

Some local health and senior care providers aren’t taking this lying down, in fact they’ve called in the troops to help out, those of the four-legged variety.

The golden years haven’t been looking so sunny lately for our seniors who are separated from their own family and friends due to the COVID-19 threat, but on Monday help was on the way for seniors at Ocean Springs Health and Rehab. Palladium Hospice and Palliative Care Healthcare Liaison Michelle Carroll said, “We’re here to brighten up the lives of some of the seniors in our community. Some of them are feeling isolated right now, away from their families, and we want to bring a smile to their face.”

Workers with Palladium Hospice and Palliative Care turned out in full force alongside some knee-high handlers.

Armed with a four-legged army of seven who traveled from all over the U.S. to be here and take part in this special mission. “All of them are from previous nursing homes, many in Colorado. We wanted to share that love back with our seniors, who may have also lost their pups.”

Palladium Hospice and Palliative Care Administrator Natasha Barkley said, “It was on our heart to do this because they haven’t seen their family members in such a long time. We just wanted to give them some type of cheer.”

While this novel breed of pet therapy took place outside, its far reaching effects were clear to see. Palladium Hospice and Palliative Care Social Worker Twainna Abrams said, “I had the opportunity to walk around and show the pets to the different patients and observe their big smiles. Some were teary-eyed, but most of all, they were very excited and glad to have us come out. They cheered and tapped on the windows. It was very rewarding to be able to be here with them and to be able to share some cheer with them.”

There’s still plenty of puppy love to go around. All you need to do is reach out. “So many people are so upset and anxious about this virus. They don’t know what to do. They’re stuck at home, and so many of our seniors are stuck at home without anybody coming to see them. No visitors. They need to know we are here for them, too, and we’re quite happy to come and say hello through the window for those folks.”

Categories: Featured, Health, Local News

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