Animal Assisted Therapy
This is where Hands on Exotics started and it remains a huge passion for us. Hands on Exotics currently visits about 300 nursing homes, hospitals, adult day programs, autism and special needs groups, and other similar facilities on a regular basis. Most of these programs end up booking us for regular visits.
- We are very hands on with almost all of the animals (though just how hands-on we are depends on the mental and physical capabilities of the group we are working with).
- While we also aim to be educational and we do talk and teach about the animals, our primary goal is to give each participant an opportunity to touch, hold, interact with and get pictures with each animal.
- We are experienced with all forms of physical and mental disability and visit many dementia wards.
- We work with over 150 animals. Over time, people get to see all of our animals, learn their names, and form relationships with them.
- Similarly, our presenters get to know many of the residents personally over time.
- We add new animals to our program each month so there is always something new for people to see!
- We are accredited by the Canadian Association of Zoos and Aquariums and all of our animals that require vaccinations get those on a regular basis, as well as fecal tests.
- We give hugely discounted rates for these programs.
- While our rates are already heavily discounted, we do our best to work within the budget of every facility. Let us know what works for you and your facility and we will do our best to make it work.
- To offer these low rates for our visits we try hard to visit multiple facilities on the same day in the same region. For instance, on the same day each month, we visit all of the Leisureworld Long Term Care Homes in Brampton. We visit all of the Trinity Village Nursing Home locations in Kitchener and Waterloo on the same day.
|Our Prices Have Changed – Effective 10/14/2016! Please contact us if you have any questions.|
|LTC, Hospital, Special Needs||Retirement|
- We do either group presentations or room to room visits
- Groups of up to 30 work well, really large groups are the only format type that does not work well. Participants have to wait a long time for their turn with each animal
- Number of animals and types of animals depend on the format and duration of the visit and other logistics. For 1 group group sessions we typically bring 8, for half hour groups 4-6, and for room to room we bring 2-3.
- We can do multiple formats in the same home to make sure everyone gets a chance. At Leisureworld St George we spend 2.5 hours. 30 minutes on each of the five floors – 20 minutes in the common area, 10 minutes room to room. At the Westbury we do 3 hours room-to-room visits. At Leisureworld Lawrence we do 4 30-minute group visits, one per floor.
- All of the animals are photo and flash friendly
- Prove to everyone that Grandma is not off her rocker when she says she played with a Kangaroo
- Start a board with animal pictures and add to it each visit
- We will bring you parrot feathers, snake skins, and other items to add to the board
Will the animals poop?
- All of the animals can and probably will poop. Our birds mostly stay on perches when they are not passed around and those perches are over drop-cloths that we put down and the birds do most of the pooping. So we take most of the mess with us but the occasional poop on a participant or the floor will happen. Its all part of the experience!
Can our staff pass around the animals too?
- Some of the really simple animals are safe for a competent staff person to pass around, but most of the time, especially on our first visit, until we know the residents and staff, we will take one animal out at a time and pass it around for the safety of the animals and participants. Facilities that we have visited for years where we know everyone we may take more liberties if the presenter feels comfortable with it. But generally we try and keep things as safe and controlled as possible.
What if we are afraid of some of the animals?
- In our experience the residents or participants are game for everything, and if anyone is afraid it is typically a staff member. Let us know if one of the participants has a particular phobia and we will save that animal for last or not bring it out at all. But in our thousands of visits doing this no one has ever left the room in a panic due to a phobia.
- Since each presenter does multiple visits in a day and does not have time to go back to the zoo to switch out animals, there will likely be a snake or other reptiles or other scary animals with each presenter. But all of these animals come in carriers and they do not have to come out each visit.
Important Disclaimers and Requirements
- By booking Hands on Exotics you acknowledge that you have read and agree to the requirements, conditions, and risks found here: Important Disclaimers
- Cheques must be addressed to Hands on Exotics
- Payments must include a receipt with the invoice number so we know who paid us and for which visit (this has been a huge difficulty for us with some of the larger nursing home chains for which we do hundreds of visits a year).
- Please have all participants wash or disinfect their hands after the presentation. However, please avoid using hand sanitizer during the presentation as it is harmful to some of the animals, particularly our amphibian friends.
- Please avoid serving food during the presentation. This is party for sanitation reasons, but also due to the fact that the animal`s behavior changes with food around and they may get into food that is harmful to them.