Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Going to do Rabbit Visits in Nursing Home on Friday.

Hi there,

At first I groaned because my husband made an appointment for Friday morning to do Rabbit Visits at a nursing home/assisted living center here in our town. It is something that I actually like doing but wasn't happy about it being the first thing I had to do on my first day off from work of the weekend. But now I am looking forward to it.

We bring some of our calmer bunnies and tell about the bunnies, let people tell us stories and let people pet the bunnies. The bunnies can always seem to tell which people are comfortable or perhaps have dementia and might be not of good judgement. I used to bring the bunnies to nursing homes that I worked at and volunteered at others. If you ever are thinking of doing it with a rabbit of your own, there are good things to think about and read before doing it. It is very rewarding to you and for the people being visited, but it can be very stressful to the bunnies. A bunny can also react from being overstressed or tired.

You can google the internet for different resources, but I would also look up the Delta Society and a book called "Life worth living"- a book about a philosophy and organization called Eden Alternative. It should be very helpful in testing rabbits for temperament and acclimating them to that type of work. We bring more than one rabbit. They help each other destress and provide some moral support. Having more than one bunny along also gives other bunnies a break.

Make sure they have plenty of water, pellets and hay with them. I also use a top loading carrier because the rabbits are much more comfortable coming in and out of that. They are less fearful. If you are visiting a large facility, I would try to do one wing or section one time and go back to do other places other days. That way it is less rushed and not overly stressful on the buns or you. Make sure you give your bunnies lots of praise, some treats and attention-during and after.
They will probably not want to be bothered with anyone or anything after so give them time to sleep or whatever they want later. Give them quiet time and space. They earned it.

I will share the rewards to you and the people you are visiting in another post. It is worth it.
Here is an internet link showing my husband and I volunteering at a nursing home a few years ago with a couple of our bunnies. www.walnuthillcarecenter.com/volunteer%20opportunities.htm

I hope you enjoyed this!
Thanks for your visit!
Til next time!
Mary Ellen

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