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Schervier Nursing Care Center receives pet therapy program grant

Monday August 12, 2013
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Schervier Nursing Care Center in the Bronx has received a $58,400, two-year grant from Amieís Place Foundation to launch an inpatient pet therapeutic treatment program, "Come Mend with Your Friend."

The initiative, which was launched in January, allows vulnerable elderly, who risk losing their pets because of being away from home for a prolonged period, to receive comprehensive rehabilitation treatment at Schervier while knowing their pets are safe and with them throughout their recovery process, according to a news release from Bon Secours New York Health System.

Patients are able to spend therapeutic quality time with their pets throughout the day, the release said. Depending on a patientís abilities, caring for a pet will be included as part of a daily rehabilitation therapy program.

"Come Mend with Your Friend" allows domestic pets to stay at Schervier Nursing Care Center, free of charge, while their human companions are receiving inpatient medical treatment and therapy.

"Documented studies show that people, especially the elderly, heal faster from surgery and illness knowing their pets are safe and with them," Gregory Poole-Dayan, administrator at Schervier, said in the release.

The grant money will cover the cost of hiring a certified veterinary technician who will care for the pets on a daily basis and a consultant veterinarian who also will evaluate the health and safety of all newly admitted pets.

"People and pets have a special bond, but for vulnerable elders, their pet is a lifesaver," Paulette Sansone, PhD, grant writer for Schervier, said in the release. "Their pet not only provides unconditional love but also companionship, a sense of purpose and a will to survive. [Pets] lower blood pressure, reduce pain, anxiety, isolation and despair, and help patients heal faster." •

LEARN MORE online at SchervierCares.org.