Tag Archives: arthur home

PawPrint Ministries Comfort Dogs Bring Excitement to Arthur Home

During an emergency response in a small Illinois town, Jennifer Dahn had her first IMG_4724encounter with a comfort dog team. Little did she know this would lead her down an extremely fulfilling path. Jenn has since created her own comfort dog ministry called PawPrint Ministries, a nonprofit dedicated to assisting hurting hearts in central Illinois and beyond. Jenn’s organization provides comfort dogs to disaster areas, schools, hospitals, and nursing homes. The distinct impact of comfort dogs has even been seen here at Arthur Home, a senior community located in Arthur, Illinois.

IMG_4689Before PawPrint Ministries, Jenn was a personal trainer who loved her job with no desire to leave it. When asked about becoming involved with comfort dogs, she said, “I never in a million years imagined myself doing this. I’ve never been a huge fan of big dogs. But when you see these dogs in action, you can’t even describe it.” PawPrint Ministries began in April of 2014 and quickly grew from having one comfort dog to six certified comfort dogs and seven in training. Their main office is located in Decatur, Illinois. PawPrint Ministries works with PawPrint partner teams who own the dogs and dedicate their time to train the dogs, take the dogs out, and raise awareness and funds for PawPrint Ministries.

IMG_4750Over eight months ago, PawPrint Ministries took their first trip to Arthur Home, which has quickly grown into one of their favorite locations because of the excellent staff and enthusiastic residents. Jenn says, “The staff and the residents… their faces just light up. Just a couple of minutes with our comfort dogs can turn their day around. To walk into someone’s room who may have been having a bad day, to let them snuggle these dogs, and to see their whole demeanor change… That’s why we do it. For that one person who we impact.” Jenn understands that oftentimes people have to leave their animals behind when they move into a new community and they miss that connection. Speaking about Payton, the comfort dog, Jen says, “He doesn’t judge. He doesn’t speak. He just walks in with compassion.”

In addition to various visits that usually take place six days a week, Jenn and the comfort dog team have many moreIMG_4717
ongoing projects. PawPrint Ministries has teamed up with pharmacies in Decatur to raise money to bring two additional comfort dogs into Illinois in order to give back to veterans. These dogs would be trained by veterans and then would make visits to the many veterans in Illinois who could benefit from interacting with a comfort dog. These veteran specific dogs have the power to make a profound impact on people. Jen reminisced on one encounter she had with a veteran, saying, “Last time at Arthur, we met a veteran and Eli, the comfort dog, is learning to salute. Eli held his paw up and saluted, and the man did it right back.”

PawPrint Ministries can be found at Arthur on the second Tuesday of each month at 10AM! Meet Jenn, Payton, and the rest of the team on either August 9th or September 13th!

Nurses’ Corner

The holiday season is upon us!! We here at The Arthur Home hope everyone has had and continues to have a safe and happy holiday season!! Our facility is looking very festive and the residents are really enjoying the decorations and the carolers!

With all of the excitement of the holidays, times can also be very stressful. Stress comes in many forms, and can have a negative effect on health if it continues too long or feels overwhelming (USDVA, 2015). Many tools are available to help you manage and reduce your stress. Here are some basic stress management suggestions you can use to help reduce stress this holiday season (USDVA, 2015):

  • Physical Activity – Take a brisk walk or engage in other physically demanding activities. This may reduce your stress. Regular physical activity is best.
  • Relaxation Training – Learn relaxation and mindfulness skills. these skills can assist you to manage the arousal that is associated with stress, and daily relaxation may protect you from at least some of the consequences of stress.
  • Expression – Speak up in respectful ways. Sharing thoughts and feelings in an assertive and respectful manner can sometimes help buffer stress. Keeping those thoughts inside can increase your stress.
  • Time Management – List what needs to get done, make plans for addressing issues, and stick to the plan. there are several self-help books on time management at libraries and book stores.
  • Positive Thinking – Stress is often associated with negative, self-critical thinking. Focus your attention on positive thoughts about yourself, favorite songs, poems, favorite prayers, or hobbies.
  • Pleasant Activities – you may be experiencing the effects of stress if you are not making time for fun in your life. Plan to have regular, enjoyable activities and see if this buffers your stress.

Again, we wish everyone a very blessed Merry Christmas and a safe and happy New Year!

Jessica and Alicia

Nurses’ Corner

Nurse holding hand _for blog 12-2-15We have undergone many new changes in the nursing department at The Arthur Home over this last month! Crystal Stiner has decided to move forward in her nursing career. I thank her for all of her contributions to the facility and wish her all the best of luck in her future endeavors!

I was honored to be asked to step up into the Director of Nursing position! I have the privilege of working with an amazing group of people all throughout this facility. Together, I think we can make some great changes in the right direction for The Arthur Home!

I am happy to announce that Alicia Howard has agreed to accept the Assistant Director of Nursing position. I am very excited to have her by my side! She brings forth many great ideas and is an incredible asset to the team.

I appreciate all of your patience in this time of transition. I am so very grateful to have such an amazing, hardworking staff, and appreciate all of your hard work and dedication to our wonderful residents!

Thanks!

Jessica Alumbaugh, RN, BSN, DON

P.S. – As winter approaches, so does that dreaded time of the year for colds, flu, and pneumonia! Please remember to practice proper hand washing techniques diligently to protect our staff, residents and guests. Thank you.