As dog owners, our pups bring a lot of joy into our lives. Caregiver Canines hopes to bring the same happiness to the elderly and those with dementia. In 2009, Caregiver Volunteers of Central New Jersey started Caregiver Canines®, which brings therapy dogs to patients’ homes in Ocean County.
“Most families strive to keep their loved one with Alzheimer’s disease in their homes for as long as possible. Caregiver Canines® provide great joy and bring back lovely long-lost memories,” said Lynette Whiteman, M.S., Executive Director of Caregiver Volunteers of Central New Jersey.
Research shows that dogs reduce stress and loneliness and help trigger memories for people with dementia. Caregiver Canines® gives seniors the opportunity to spend one-on-one time with dogs and their handlers, and they form a special bond.
If you have a certified and insured therapy dog, you can also volunteer. Caregiver Canines® has also entered into an agreement with the National Volunteer Caregiving Network, giving NVCN affiliate members an opportunity to start their own chapter of Caregiver Canines®.
“We would love to help other caregiving agencies begin their own home pet therapy programs,” Lynette said.
For more information, visit caregivercanines.org or check out its Facebook page.