The dogs were adopted by the Çanakkale Nursing and Rehabilitation Center for Old Persons management and they were started to take care of in the garden. Thus, the dogs have become a part of seniors’ rehabilitation while helping seniors to grab life with both hands.
Çanakkale Nursing and Rehabilitation Center for Old Persons, which was built in a short time ago in Kepez, Çanakkale with the quality of a 5-star hotel, started to accept its residents in July 2016. The administration started to organize many events to enrich the social life of 114 residents staying in the nursing home. However, one of the practices almost doubled the happiness of the elderly living in here. With the request of an elderly person to adopt a dog, 5 dogs were started to be cared for in the garden of nursing home. Not only that, various animals started to be fed in the coops and the garden of nursing home turned into a mini zoo. Nursing home residents have an enjoyable time with the dogs in the garden. They give their meals, take care of them, take them round in the garden and have fun with them. The playful animals cheer over to the elderly who take care of them. In this way, the elderly are saved from being stuck in their rooms. In a sense, dogs become a part of rehabilitation of the elderly.
Bilgi Doğantan, 72, one of the residents of the nursing home, said that the dogs and other animals in the garden create a different atmosphere in the nursing home. Doğantan said, “These animals were offered to us as a recreation pool. We come and watch them closely, and show them round. They are very sweet. As we are having fun, we are very happy. Our manager is an animal lover. He juiced up with bringing these dogs here. Now “We have 5 dogs, but one of them is pregnant. Let’s see how many puppies will be born.”
The manager of Çanakkale Nursing and Rehabilitation Center for Old Persons, İstiklal Okur, stated that in line with the strategy of the Ministry of Family and Social Policies, they not only take care of the elderly, but also ensure that they hold on to their colorful lives. Explaining that they started to look after dogs in the nursing home’s garden, Okur said:
“One day, one of the residents said, ‘Our garden is wide and suitable for adopting a dog.’ We started with adopting a dog. We have reached 5 dogs by taking them from the street. Of course, it was very important for us that these dogs were also healthy. We took the dogs to the veterinarian and got them vaccinated. The fact that elderly took care of the dogs, played with them and showed them round helped seniors to grab life with both hands. We ensured one of our goals by helping cling to life more tightly to seniors in here. We started with dogs and then we added animals such as pigeons, chickens, rabbits and quail by making coops. Our residents somehow rehabilitate with these animals, they relax themselves. We see that this attempt gives positive results. The elderly feel happy. In addition, we make use of the food that is not eaten in our center by giving these animals. We clean them together with our staff and the elderly. As a nursing home, we are in life and we tried to activate everything that is in life here. Our residents have made a great contribution to this. You can bring the animals here, but if our young people who are elderly do not come to the garden, it will not make any sense. In this way, we maintain an active life here and achieve our purpose.