If you’ve been to MCH recently, you might have noticed our newest caregivers making their rounds. They’re not hard to miss, considering they walk on four legs and have wet noses.
In 2018, MCH joined a growing list of healthcare facilities offering pet therapy services for patients. Pet therapy has been shown to lower anxiety and promote relaxation. Other clinical studies have revealed that therapy pets help relieve boredom, loneliness, and depression in patients diagnosed with dementia.
In MCH’s program, a specially trained therapy dog and its handler greet patients, spending a few minutes at their bedsides. Patients can pet or cuddle with the dog and chat with its handler. “Patients are thrilled when a therapy dog arrives,” said Christy-Sue Solomon, Director of the Medical-Surgical and Intensive Care Units at MCH. “Each of these dogs has a friendly and unique personality. They have a very calming presence, with a natural ability to cheer patients up. This program has been a welcome addition to our inpatient care.”
Organized and implemented by MCH’s Volunteer Coordinator Toni Gildone, the Pet Therapy program is available upon patient request.