Innovative programs in community and institutional settings continue to show how companion animals enhance human health and well-being. The Eden Alternative, which has been highlighted in Time magazine, views nursing homes as habitats rather than institutions. These facilities, which have allowed dogs, cats, birds and fish to live in the facility, have had to provide fewer alternative recreational activities and use less anti-psychotic and anti-depressant medication. Moreover, staff turnover has decreased, patient mobility has increased, and bedsores and skin ulcers have decreased.
The Pet Care Trust is partnering with the Eden Alternative and the American Veterinary Medical Association to develop welfare standards for companion animals living alongside seniors in long-term care facilities throughout the nation.