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Grumpy Stray Cat Gets Job at Cleveland Nursing Home Keeping Residents Happy

 St. Augustine Health Ministries, a nursing home in Cleveland, Ohio has got a new nurse. Oreo the cat has found a job looking after senior citizens at the residence. Oreo spends her days living at the home as a therapy animal, bringing comfort to all who interact with her.

In From the Streets

Oreo had previously been a stray living in the area around the nursing home. According to nursing home staff, Oreo wandered in about 5 years ago and set up shop as St. Augustine's resident therapy animal. Recently, the cat shot to fame after a Cleveland reporter posted a video of her at work on the internet. Oreo and her coworker Coco the dog, St. Augustine's other therapy animal are responsible for the care of over 200 residents as well as staff, and students from St. Augustine's early learning center. While not a fan of cuddles, Oreo loves to have her head scratched and most of all, to just be near her beloved residents. Oreo provides much needed entertainment and love to residents, some of whom would otherwise have no one else to interact with.

Benefits of Pet Therapy

In addition to being a friendly face in the halls of St. Augustine's, Oreo also provides some important health benefits to nursing home residents. Pet therapy has been proven to lower blood pressure levels and improve cardiovascular health. There may even be a biological reason why we enjoy petting animals so much. The physical act of “petting” stimulates the Parasympathetic Nervous System, the bodies natural relaxation center. This stimulates the release of the neurotransmitter Oxytocin which increases the relaxation we experience when spending time with animals. The release of pleasure causing neurotransmitters experienced by nursing home residents when they pet Oreo can even reduce physical pain. This reduction in pain coupled with relaxation and the joy of bonding with an animal serves to lift the spirits of nursing home residents and alleviate depression and the monotony of everyday life.

Pet Therapy Goes Mainstream

 

Animal therapy has now made its way into schools, daycare centers, courtrooms, even airports. Recipients of animal therapy often find they are better able to communicate and cope with difficult emotions and situations after a session with an animal because of the stress free, non-judgmental environment an animal creates. Being able to cope and express one's feelings, in turn, can increase self-confidence and self-awareness. Animals like Oreo improve the lives of the humans around them numerous ways whether just providing companionship, or helping us navigate through difficult times. Even though Oreo may not understand the importance of what she does for the nursing home residents, it is clear that she enjoys their company nonetheless.   

Stray Cat Gets Job at Cleveland Nursing Home

St. Augustine Health Ministries, a nursing home in Cleveland, Ohio has got a new nurse. Oreo the cat has found a job looking after senior citizens at the residence. Oreo spends her days living at the home as a therapy animal, bringing comfort to all who interact with her.

In From the Streets

Oreo had previously been a stray living in the area around the nursing home. According to nursing home staff, Oreo wandered in about 5 years ago and set up shop as St. Augustine's resident therapy animal. Recently, the cat shot to fame after a Cleveland reporter posted a video of her at work on the internet. Oreo and her coworker Coco the dog, St. Augustine's other therapy animal are responsible for the care of over 200 residents as well as staff, and students from St. Augustine's early learning center. While not a fan of cuddles, Oreo loves to have her head scratched and most of all, to just be near her beloved residents. Oreo provides much needed entertainment and love to residents, some of whom would otherwise have no one else to interact with.

Benefits of Pet Therapy

In addition to being a friendly face in the halls of St. Augustine's, Oreo also provides some important health benefits to nursing home residents. Pet therapy has been proven to lower blood pressure levels and improve cardiovascular health. There may even be a biological reason why we enjoy petting animals so much. The physical act of “petting” stimulates the Parasympathetic Nervous System, the bodies natural relaxation center. This stimulates the release of the neurotransmitter Oxytocin which increases the relaxation we experience when spending time with animals. The release of pleasure causing neurotransmitters experienced by nursing home residents when they pet Oreo can even reduce physical pain. This reduction in pain coupled with relaxation and the joy of bonding with an animal serves to lift the spirits of nursing home residents and alleviate depression and the monotony of everyday life.

Pet Therapy Goes Mainstream

Animal therapy has now made its way into schools, daycare centers, courtrooms, even airports. Recipients of animal therapy often find they are better able to communicate and cope with difficult emotions and situations after a session with an animal because of the stress free, non-judgmental environment an animal creates. Being able to cope and express one's feelings, in turn, can increase self-confidence and self-awareness. Animals like Oreo improve the lives of the humans around them numerous ways whether just providing companionship, or helping us navigate through difficult times. Even though Oreo may not understand the importance of what she does for the nursing home residents, it is clear that she enjoys their company nonetheless.   

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