In spring 2016, the families, friends, residents, and staff of Homestead Village donated funds to the Life Enhancing Committee to purchase a large aviary, freshwater aquarium and saltwater aquarium. Within weeks, the aviary and a 55 gallon fresh water aquarium arrived. The 120 gallon saltwater aquarium arrived later in the summer. The bright colored fish add life and energy to the environment.
Within several months, the two cockatiels had a baby bird which enjoyed having two attentive parents who fed and groomed her. At the end of the summer the little bird had fully grown up and was ready to leave the next nest.
The residents and staff of Gelhard House are happy to announce that they have adopted the young Cockatiel born at Fickes House. The staff and residents have taken over her care and made a home for her in the Gelhard House parlor. Her name is Lola and she receives daily visits from many of our residents.
The residents and staff are slowly training her to be hand held and to say simple words; she can already whistle! Lola is a calm and delightful bird, she is also very curious and is starting to recognize and interact with the residents.
The maintenance costs for these pets have been very generously donated by the Homestead Village Auxiliary.
The Life Enhancing Committee was created in response to chapter 5, “A Better Life” in Dr. Atul Gawande’s book; Being Mortal. This chapter describes the marvelous outcomes when nature is introduced into skilled nursing communities.