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Updated: Oct 13, 2020

Pet Therapy, also known as animal-assisted therapy (AAT), is becoming increasingly popular in hospices and hospitals. In this therapy, cute and affectionate furry friends provide emotional support and engagement for terminally-ill patients. Studies have shown that animal assisted-therapy is an effective method in reducing the patients’ pain. Seniors who feel isolated and bound by their condition/illness can benefit from this therapy greatly.

Gentle Transitions prides itself on providing high-quality care and satisfaction to its patients. Hence, this family-owned organization in Waco, Texas, provides pet therapy to its patients and encourages them to feel optimistic and loved by the highly trained and hospitable staff. Pet therapy is available for all patients at Gentle Transitions hospice. Waco-Temple-Killeen residents should look into this service for their elderly loved ones who are currently on hospice.

We want to ensure that each patient under our hospice care is surrounded by love, compassion, and peace; pets are known to provide these through their companionship. Pet therapy has numerous benefits, such as:

· Reduces stress and anxiety

· Takes seniors’ mind off thoughts about death

· Decreases feelings of loneliness and depression

· Reduces high blood pressure

· Improves cardiovascular health

· Increases interaction and friendship between patients

Animals used to provide companionship in pet therapy include rabbits, dogs, cats, pigs, baby goats, miniature horses, and birds. Each animal has a quality that makes them viable for pet therapy. For example, a bird’s unique disposition and vibrant feathers can create a wholesome feeling for patients.

Patients experience positive feelings when they are in the presence of pets. They also play with the animals by petting, hugging, throwing a ball, teaching tricks, etc. Farm animals such as baby pigs, lambs, and goats are known for their quiet and affectionate demeanor. Our staff is ready to receive your elderly loved one and provide this therapy to them, especially if they are a veteran. Central Texas hospice agencies of repute that offer this therapy are few, and Gentle Transitions is proud to be one of them.

Studies have also shown that animal-assisted therapy stunted the growth of symptoms in patients with dementia in just 10 weeks. This major discovery will be helpful in the treatment of patients. It also makes a strong case for the use of compassion and empathy-based therapies in a palliative care or hospice setting. Central Texas has a senior population that can benefit from this therapy, and it is available at Gentle Transitions Hospice.

Pet therapy in hospices such as Gentle Transitions does not simply involve bringing pets to make patients happy; it is much more than that. This form of therapy transforms the energy into the room and the temperaments of the terminally-ill patients. It eases the transitioning of the patients and introduces a healthy friendship that will make their time with us special.

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Memoir writing is more like record keeping; it is a recollection of all major life events and heartfelt memories that a person would want their children and grandchildren to read. Everyone’s story is unique; each individual experiences happy and sad moments in a unique way.

Unfortunately, we live in fast-paced times that don’t allow many to look back and reflect on the people we have met and the places we have been. On the other side, we lose great life lessons from seniors who have lived a lifespan full of ups and downs. Imagine not knowing what it was like to be a doctor, an entrepreneur, or a veteran. Waco seniors deserve to have their story told and be remembered by current generations and those that are to come.

One way of doing this is memoir writing; besides helping create a chronicle of seniors’ lives, it’s a great therapeutic technique for people transitioning to hospice care. Why is that so?

· Memoir writing builds confidence

· It creates self-worth

· It ensures a continuation of the seniors’ legacy

· It keeps the brain active

· The memoir will prove to be a priceless gift to children and grandchildren

There are even more reasons why memoir writing should be encouraged. Gentle Transitions Hospice, located in Waco, Texas, believes in the life story of every person in our care. We encourage them to tell their stories in their way.

Gentle Transitions is a leading care provider and hospice. Waco-Temple-Killeen patients can rest assured that their elderly loved ones will receive the highest standard of care with us.

For all things hospice, Waco citizens can rely on Gentle Transitions. We pride ourselves on providing the best care to those admitted to our service, easing their transition, and helping them accept their terminal illness. We offer comfort, encouragement, and guidance to help our patients narrate, dictate, or write about their contributions and achievements in their community, what lessons they would like to give to future generations, any mistakes they made, the regrets they have, the best moments in their lives, etc.

Studies have shown that the older generation takes immense pride and happiness in writing their memoirs. Putting down a record of one’s important life moments can be an extremely satisfying task; the memoir produced from this activity can be the ‘last words’ one has for their families and everyone else. They may also consider it as creating a piece of art or an opportunity to reveal a secret.

Memoirs invite self-reflection, and everyone has an interesting story to tell. Gentle Transitions hospice will engage and welcome stories from all backgrounds. Our trained staff will motivate patients to write whatever they feel is necessary to be shared with their families and the world.

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Updated: Sep 26, 2020

Dementia is a degenerative brain disorder whose symptoms appear at a later age; in most cases, this is most often after the age of 60. This disorder affects memory, cognitive abilities, behavior, and the capacity to work or do daily tasks. Statistics have shown that there are approximately 50 million people affected by this illness all around the world. The symptoms of dementia can vary in extremities in every individual; not every patient will show the same level of the disorder. However, almost every dementia patient in palliative care will show results of this disease’s severity.

Gentle Transitions is a one-of-a-kind family-based hospice that you can refer to for all things hospice. Waco, Texas, has a senior population that needs a hospice like Gentle Transitions, one that can take care of those with dementia and Alzheimer’s. The activities we offer our dementia/Alzheimer’s patients are interactive, mindful of their condition, and helpful in their overall care.

Here are some helpful activities for dementia patients. It allows loved ones of the dementia patients to also participate and spend time with them:

· Activity apron: This is a fun and wholesome activity where patients at any stage of dementia are given a special apron/bib that stimulates their visual and tactile senses. The apron engages patients with dementia and even those with Alzheimer’s with its vibrant colors and designs/textures. With its deep knowledge of these disorders, Gentle Transitions aims to be a caring provider that goes beyond being just a traditional hospice Waco and its surrounding areas have nursing, assisted living, and memory care facilities with dementia and Alzheimer’s patients, and Gentle Transitions will donate these ‘busy bibs’ to them.

· Physical activity: Light-hearted workouts and exercise can stimulate motor skills and create positive feelings within patients. Physical activity can include walking in a park and water aerobics. However, be mindful of the physical and cognitive condition of the individual with dementia.

· Be around nature: A trip to a national park, a small berry-picking excursion, or some time dedicated to gardening can positively impact patients.

· Music therapy: Music is a powerful tool that soothes and relaxes people. It can be a source of comfort and a reminder of their lives so far. Sometimes nostalgia is all they need; hence, assist dementia patients in reliving their past.

· Art Therapy: Artistic activities can help dementia patients exercise their cognitive abilities. Provide dementia patients with art supplies, such as paint, knitting materials, clay, colors, and crayons, and let them express themselves.

These are just some examples of collaborative activities that you can enjoy with your loved ones and/or patients with dementia/Alzheimer’s. There are many more ways to help them escape their condition, even for a little while. For example, you can go on a picnic, solve puzzles together, play chess with them, read their favorite books to them, etc. Our staff is ready to receive your elderly loved one and provide these activities to them, these activities are also great for veterans. Waco long term care providers that offer these activities are few and far between, and Gentle Transitions Hospice is proud to be one of them.

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