Home Care & Hospice

Hospice pet therapy

Patients take comfort from therapeutic companionship

Pet therapy gives us a way to create a healing environment for patients receiving hospice care. We connect patients with our furry friends in a variety of settings – private homes, outpatient treatment facilities, skilled nursing and assisted living centers, even hospital rooms.

Patients, caregivers and family members realize physical and emotional benefits from animal-assisted therapy.

  • Lowers blood pressure and heart rate
  • Relieves stress and anxiety
  • Eases depression and loneliness
  • Improves responsiveness and activity

Comfort, peace, companionship

The best way to explain the power of animal-assisted therapy is through true stories that unfold in care settings throughout our community.

Telling tales to a welcome companion

Runa, an Australian Labradoodle, visited a patient with dementia who had not spoken or interacted with others for weeks. During the first visit, caregivers guided the patient’s hand to touch Runa’s head. The patient reached out to Runa on her own during a second visit. She even gave one-word responses to caregiver comments. By the third visit, the patient engaged in conversation as caregivers surrounded her to hear stories about her family for the first time.

Breathing in support and love

A patient receiving an infusion unwrapped herself from a cocoon of blankets to pet Runa during a visit to the Center for Cancer Care infusion room. By the end of the visit, she was smiling, taking deep breaths and interacting with others around her. Caregivers believe the five minutes with Runa were more therapeutic for the patient than any medication.

Greeting the end with one last smile

Hospice received a request for Runa to visit a patient who loved animals but was declining quickly. The patient had become minimally responsive and had not spoken on the day of the visit. As soon as Runa jumped onto the patient’s bed and laid down beside him, the patient opened his eyes, lifted his head, and with a smile, said, “Well, hi.” That was the last time the patient spoke. He died several hours later.

We can help

We understand quality of life is as important as length of life. That’s why Goshen Hospice focuses on comfort, symptom management and wellbeing for those who no longer wish to pursue treatment for an incurable illness.

Find out more about our hospice care approach, (574) 364-2700

Fax: (574) 364-2835