horses and alzheimers
I am looking for ideas for a program that involves Alzheimer patients of varying levels. Anyone have any suggestions or experience here? Thank you and ride on!
Welcome to the Forum! At this time, the program I volunteer with does not have any clients with Alzhiemer's. I believe there is another member on the Forum who brings her horses to nursing homes, so she may have some insight.
I did find a few articles that may give you some info about other people's experiences:
Man and horse work to overcome Alzheimer’s | pullen, horse, william - Top Stories - Colorado Springs Gazette, CO http://horseshelpingpeoplema.files.w.../01/moment.pdf
Equine Therapy & The Elderly | LIVESTRONG.COM
You can search the PATH International website to see if there are any therapeutic riding programs near you, and contact programs directly to see if they offer services for people with Alzheimer's.
Thank you for the info, I had not come across the power point presentation yet, very helpful and good to use in my presentation to the center. It appears I am on tract with the development --at least in the right direction. We will probably be operating a non riding program to start. If you do come across any more info that would be greatly appreciated. Very neglected population in my area. thanks again and ride on!
Ah, didn't realize you already worked with a program. Have you reached out to PATH for resources then? I wonder if they can help you with more specifics about design, etc.?
Yes, I have only recovered the one PATH:lol: article from the Co center I think it was in the summer 2011 issue after I designed the program. Seems that I am in the right direction with implementation. I have searched the site and finally posted a discussion to see if I can get anything there. Not sure how active the community board is but have been unsuccessful in finding anything else except that one article. I have scoured the AAT sites as well. Perhaps there will be more soon. thanks again for the help.
I facilitate a memory cafe in Washington DC for people with early stage AZ or MCi and their care-partners and spouses. I am also an equine-assisted therapist. I have held two events at my stables for my memory cafe members. The events have gone over very well. Here's a summary that went with our photo documentation of our Equine Experience event for our memory cafe members yesterday October 16, 2013.
Members shared memories (including the amazing black and white photo which is one of our members, now over 80, riding a horse in Ethiopia in his mid-20’s) of horse encounters. You can see in some of the photos that we had a saddle as well as a suit of armor on display. One of the women who volunteered to help with the day is a full contact jouster. Members got to try on and pass around her armored helmet and gloves. This volunteer then discussed the sport with the members, who were utterly fascinated and had tons of questions. After that, members were introduced to and got to interact with three different therapy horses, who are each a different breed and color. Members learned the horses backgrounds and how they came to be therapy horses. They also learned how equine therapy works and why horses are such valuable therapy tools. Members then had opportunities to engage with horses individually at their own comfort levels including grooming, petting, communing and leading the horses. We closed with a short group mindfulness activity in the arena with the horses. One highlights for me was overhearing a member softly saying to one of the horses as he gently stroked the horses face, “I never thought in my life I would get to spend time with a horse.”
Awakened Heart Sanctuary
I encountered a gentleman whom I had competed against years ago, and who was now dealing with Alzheimers. I was in his presence for about 10 min. when his eyes brightened and he addressed me by name. We discussed the shows back then and enjoyed a lively conversation about his training days for about 10 min. then his eyes went dull and he was lost to me and didn't know who I was.
^^^ What a gift to that gentleman...A brief moment when it all came back.
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