There’s More to Hospice – With Pat Cameron & Harley
Hospice care is much more than meets the eye. We turn what is a sensitive and sad subject into a purpose-filled calling. Our volunteer-based programs bring meaning to this journey with our patients and their families.
Pat Cameron is one of our Hos-Pet Therapy Volunteers, a program that brings a much-needed light into the lives of many. These pets and their owners are angels in the eyes and hearts of our patients and others in senior living residences in this community.
You’ve heard the saying, a “dog is a man’s best friend.” Pets have always been known to ease anxiety, increase feelings of relaxation, and have an overall calming effect over people. Their ability to provide faithful companionship and show absolute, unconditional love is unlike what most humans are capable to give. The unbreakable bond that can form from this love is extremely unique.
In seeking to provide patients with the best end-of-life care possible, Hospice Care of the Lowcountry’s Hos-pet Program uses this unbreakable bond to provide comfort, peace, and soothing companionship to terminally-ill patients. These patients can see many emotional benefits from pet therapy. These can include a:
- Reduction in depression
- Reduction in loneliness
- Decrease in anxiety
Hospice Care of the Lowcountry understands these benefits, and extends the program to all the local nursing homes and assisted living communities.
This is where Pat Cameron and her dog, Harley, come in. They make regular visits to see seniors. On these visits, Harley helps to promote increased activity, emotional connection, and happy conversation with the patients. The emotional and mental relief Harley provides has also been proven to promote increased physical well being. These can include a:
- Reduction in physical pain
- Reduction in blood pressure
- Improved heart rate and cardiovascular health
“One of the first residents I met at Bloom on Hilton Head Island, was in a wheelchair and almost completely blind. Her name was Grace. While not all residents want a dog in their lap, Grace would hold out her arms and welcome almost any size dog to sit with her so she could pet them lovingly,” said Cameron. “You could see and hear her joy – in her actions and her voice. The opportunity for residents to touch and pet the dogs is so therapeutic for them.”
At Hospice Care of the Lowcountry, we believe that volunteers like Pat Cameron and Harley have the outstanding ability to bring joy and comfort.
Our Hos-Pet Volunteer Pet Therapy Program was founded in 2008 and boasts a volunteer staff of 65 Certified Canine Good Citizen Dogs. These dogs bring light back into the eyes of patients and those they visit in nursing homes and assisted living communities.
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