New dementia program coming to Kids & Horses

MINDEN, Nev. --(KOLO) The KOLO Cares Pillar Partner is just as dedicated to helping adults who live with disabilities and it’s starting a new dementia program this spring.

"You're not necessarily thinking about what happened in the past or in the future. You're at a beautiful ranch, you've got horses there...you have other people that you're involved with," Program Director Catherine O' Brien explains.

Kids and Horses focuses on Nevadans living with disabilities, using therapy horses and licensed professionals. Leaders work very intensely with adults, maybe someone is battling Parkinson's, dementia or recently had a stroke. It’s also looking to welcome more veterans here in Northern Nevada.

Veterans and other adults who may be dealing with dementia, as O’Brien details, “It makes everybody be on a level playing field and it makes everybody think...you know we can go out and meet with our friends again, we don't necessarily need to stay home because I'm worried about whatever…a lot of it is living in the moment.”

O’ Brien has working with the agency Connected Horse for more than two years. It was developed through research that takes place at Stanford University and UC Davis. The nonprofit is putting out a call for care takers and people with dementia, who are seeing a decline in memory, language or thinking skills.

The upcoming workshops will be two and a half hours once a week for four weeks, no prior experience with horses is necessary. We’re told the clients start on the ground, grooming and becoming familiar with the horses while working with therapists.

“It makes them start thinking about compassion. A lot of them end up sleeping better, there's more reciprocity. They just kind of look at their lives a little differently which is what they need to do,” O’ Brien adds.

This organization is doing its homework, clients have made tremendous strides. There is no fee to participate but donations and smiles are very much appreciated.

Session one begins in March, weather permitting. The free sessions are on March 14th, 21st, 28th and April 4th from 12-30-3 pm.

As a care taker or family member--you're asked to give Kids and Horses a call to set up an appointment, click here
for contact information.

Use this link to learn more about Connected Horse.

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