These Rice Hospice volunteers don’t drink coffee or drive a car, but they can still decrease patient anxiety and stress, provide a diversion from physical discomfort, and make their patients laugh or smile.
Canine Care for the Journey is the Rice Hospice Therapy Dog Program which provides comfort, support and animal companionship to hospice patients and their families. All dogs accepted into the program are American Kennel Club Canine Good Citizens and are registered with Therapy Dogs Inc./Alliance of Therapy Dogs. Therapy dog handlers are Rice Hospice trained volunteers.
Therapy dog visits may reduce loneliness, offer entertainment and distraction, and are often a welcome change from routine. This special therapy program is not a substitute for traditional health care. Instead, it enhances and complements the care prescribed by the healthcare team.
Therapy dogs are currently available in all of the areas that Rice Hospice serves.
If you and your dog would like to become Rice Hospice Volunteers click here for details.
There are two parts for your dog to get certified: Schedule a 30-40 minute temperament assessment on September 11 or 12. If your dog passes temperament testing, you will need to attend Canine University which will be held on November 13-15. To sign up for a temperament assessment contact Deb Van Buren at Deb.VanBuren@rice.willmar.mn.us or 320-231-4433.
To learn more about Rice Hospice and it’s complementary therapies visit www.ricehospice.com