Paws Please Pet Visiting Program

The Cause

The new Gene Zwozdesky Centre at Norwood will be home to one of the most innovative and leading-edge facilities providing integrated care for seniors in Edmonton and area. The centre provides a home to many seniors while additional medical programs have been described as life saving and allow seniors to return to their homes and communities following treatments. To support this new model of care, we are looking to secure funding to ensure that our "Pet Visiting" program is one of the best in the region. Evidence shows the presence of animals can be critically important in combating not only loneliness, shyness, and anxiety - some stemming from medical treatments - but also in helping Dementia and Alzheimer’s patients. Animals are non-judgmental, know no bounds to the love they give and touch the hearts of our many seniors in a profound way.
The CapitalCare Foundation will be, with your help, creating a pet friendly culture within the new building, encouraging staff, family members and community volunteers to train their own animals as therapy visitors for seniors. The Norwood pet visitation program would include a pet styled information board and volunteer check in area, with working vests and specialized pet tags. Water stations would be located throughout the centre with garden waste stations located outside. Pet cuddle alcoves would be created to become gathering areas for residents and staff to gain therapeutic value from these scheduled pet visits.

Who Will it Benefit?

The Gene Zwozdesky Centre at Norwood Pet Visitation program will benefit everyone at the centre especially those who call the centre home and their families, those who use its life saving programs daily, and those employees and volunteers who work in the centre. For those organizations who have embraced pets in a healthcare setting, results have shown increased morale, faster and better healing, and an overall feeling of happiness and positive mental health. Seniors who are in their homes but who rely on the Gene Zwozdesky Centre's day programs can often be lonely and isolated and experiencing anxiety when facing medical treatment - a furry friend can make a big difference and both humans and animals can benefit from a mutual and dynamic relationship. Also pets can relate to a senior with dementia or Alzheimers in a way that we don't understand and contributes in a positive way to their overall treatment and quality of life. These animals will also provide a warmth and welcome to those in the community who can no longer have their own pets as well as reducing their anxieties and worries while in the centre. Also, those volunteers who are contributing to the joy and happiness of seniors are seen to experience positive and long lasting benefits experienced through their community engagement.
The new centre is a home for many, and therapy visitation animals will provide energy, unconditional love and caring that will benefit others in so many ways.