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  • Last modified 8 days ago (Aug. 15, 2019)

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Pair of rabbits provide comfort for seniors

Staff writer

Residents of Parkside Homes in Hillsboro have special critters to cuddle.

The home has two rabbits, a mini Rex rabbit named Snickers, and a dwarf satin Rex named Brownie.

Casey Moore, director of life enrichment for Parkside Homes, said the rabbits, both fully grown, have been a joy to the residents.

Some, like Lola Savoia, take special comfort in them. Savoia always kept small dogs, and that connection to an animal is renewed by holding Brownie. On Friday, Savoia held Brownie on her lap, petted her and spoke gently to her.

“I love to hold you in my lap,” she told Brownie.

“I think comfort is the huge thing,” Moore said. “In this lady’s case, she always had small dogs. It takes her back to that time.”

When Brownie first came to live at Parkside Homes, she was nervous. Savoia’s patient attention to Brownie helped calm the rabbit.

Another resident, who was dying and not very communicative, would smile when a rabbit was placed in his bed to snuggle with him. The rabbits are also good for socialization, Moore said.

“In long-term care you have two types — those who just want to spend time relaxing, and then you have the opposite,” she said.

The rabbits are good for both, she said. Taking care of the rabbits is a team effort, so several staff members assist. In summers past, the rabbits were moved outside. Snickers’ resident friends didn’t like that this year, Moore said.

“The residents were very sad until we brought her in,” she said. Residents like to throw treats to the rabbits and watch Snickers chase balls around his pen.

Last modified Aug. 15, 2019

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