Bethel Home Helping Hens

Therapy Chickens Delight Residents and Visitors

Bethel Home Helping Hens
Chickens ride a growing movement of animal therapy in care homes. These gentle, low-maintenance birds bring back memories of farms and simpler times. Kristina Reser-Jaynes watched a Facebook video with fascination. Within Australia, animal therapy in care homes had reduced medication taken by dementia patients by as much as 50 percent. She realized therapy chickens could also help her own mother. The concept wasn’t new. A study, published by UCLA, lists health benefits of animal-assisted interventions. It details how animals were used as a treatment for handicapped people in ninth-century Belgium. Mentally ill patients learned self-control by holding rabbits and chickens in late 18th-century York, England. Farm animals have helped treat epilepsy in Germany and provided a restful setting for convalescent care in 1942 New York. “Animal-assisted interventions,” the scientific term for animal therapy in care homes, can be as simple as fish tanks in doctors’ offices to alleviate pre-checkup

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