Last August, Xenophon piloted a program designed to address the stress and strain that accompanies a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s or dementia. In partner with Connected Horse, another non-profit that developed the curriculum based on research studies at both Stanford University and UC Davis, the program uses therapy horses to provide centered experiences to reduce stress, increase communication and improve other life functions. We have seen remarkable results in the program and the feedback from participants has been tremendous both from the person living with dementia and from the care partner. Often the care partner comes thinking the program is just for the individual affected with the disease, but find they are changed from their own experience.
While we see the benefits of this valuable program firsthand, we wanted to introduce it to the geriatric community. On Monday, June 11, 2018, Xenophon and Connected Horse hosted a group of 30 professionals at the center from a wide range of geriatric specialties. Through interactive stations, attendees were given a glimpse into the exercises that participants experience when they come. from Over the Fence meet and greet with the horses to grooming to leading, as well as grounding exercises designed to regulate breathing and connect people to the moment. The morning was concluded with a box lunch and Question and Answer period.
The event was a huge success with positive feedback from the attendees. We hope to hold additional Professional Days in the future as we introduce this valuable program to others in our community.