Illinois Senior Care Center Comes Up With A Delightful Way To Help Residents: Support Chickens

by Karen Belz
Karen Belz has written for sites such as Bustle, HelloGiggles, Romper, and So Yummy. She's the mom of a sassy toddler and drinks an alarming amount of Sugar-Free Red Bull in order to keep up with her.

While facilities that specialize in elder care try hard to entertain their residents, sometimes they miss the mark.

Sure, it’s fun to do arts and crafts. But it may not be the most memorable experience, especially if it’s constantly offered.

That’s where Porter Place Memory Care came in. Staff realized that a lot of their residents grew up on farms and were familiar with farm life. There’s a routine that people often have while owning chickens. They know how to collect eggs, feed chickens, and make sure they’re as healthy as can be.

Jennifer Boonstra, the life enrichment director, thought up the idea — and was thrilled when her boss approved.

She knew she wanted to surprise the seniors with a fun activity that would also help them find comfort in an old routine. The chickens allowed the residents to pet them and hold them, proving they were up for the challenge.

The chickens also meant a lot to the family members of the seniors who call Porter Place home. “My mother is going to be 98 actually this October and she grew up in a time when it was very common to have chickens and other things in the backyard,” said Pat Monahan, whose mother lives in the facility. With programs like this, loving relatives like Pat know that their parents are in excellent hands.

The chickens — named Coke and Pepsi — are rented. WVLT reports that the pair will be going back to their own farm in the winter. However, the residents expect to see them again in the spring. The chickens will always have a second home at Porter Place.

Watch the video to see the chickens in action.

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