Visiting Tails (VT) is set up with one objective in mind: to enhance a senior’s quality of life by having them interact with our therapy dogs. Many studies and programs across North America and in Europe have found that seniors experience an improvement in their physical and mental health by having experienced visiting with dogs. Dogs feed off the positive energy that a friendly welcome brings and, in return, exude positive feelings back to the seniors.
The dogs (and their handlers) normally spend for 40-50 minutes on each visit, depending on the number of seniors present. The dogs and their handlers meet with seniors either in a group setting or visit room to room, depending on the preference of the seniors. At all times the dogs are leashed and accompanied by their handler.
At the time of writing (September 2016), VT is currently operating at the Prince of Peace, located just west of Chestermere in both The Manor and The Harbour facilities, Sagewood Seniors Residence in Strathmore, Wheatland Lodge in Strathmore, Chartwell Eau Claire and Chartwell Mission Care Residences in Calgary and Trinity Lodge in Calgary. The plan is to extend the VT program to other organizations wherever practical in the future.