Aviaries offer comfort to residents

Aviaries offer comfort to residents
Residents of the Sioux Valley Vermillion Health Care Center don't have to settle with simply peering out their windows to catch a glimpse of song birds feeding, building nests or taking flight.

They can see all that happening right before their eyes, thanks to two new aviaries that have been placed at the end of two corridors in the care center.

The aviaries, contributed by the Dakota Hospital Association and Foundation to the care center, were manufactured and installed in the Vermillion facility by Living Design, Inc. of Worthing.


The company specializes in bringing little bits of Mother Nature, and their benefits, inside care centers and other institutions.

"One of the goals of Dakota Hospital Association and Foundation is to enhance the quality of living for patients and residents at Sioux Valley Vermillion Medical Center. Bird aviaries provide a unique approach to pet therapy in a long term care setting. DHA&F, through the generosity of our Builders Club members, is thrilled to have the opportunity to provide the aviaries to the Care Center," said Gene Lunn, Foundation Director, Dakota Hospital Association & Foundation.

It's been proven that animals help with the living and healing process. According to Living Design, research has shown that contact with animals of all types are beneficial to humans.

Living Design uses birds in a natural setting as a form of therapy, which is ideal for people who can't participate in other activities.

Studies show that bird-watching helps people with Alzheimer's focus attention, and it has a calming effect on hyperactive residents.

Residing in each aviary in the care center are a canary, a pair of doves, a pair of zebra finches, three society finches, two blue cap waxbills and two orange cheek waxbills.

The center's staff only needs to devote a few minutes each week to maintaining the aviaries.

Every three months, the management staff of Living Design will visit Vermillion to clean and disinfect the aviaries, inspect the birds and evaluate the maintenance program to guarantee the birds' health.

Some strains of birds residing in the aviaries will build nests, lay eggs, and raise offspring, allowing center residents to follow the process from the hatching of the eggs to the new birds' first flying lessons.

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