Emotional support chickens helping residents at Tinley Park memory care facility

Medical Watch

TINLEY PARK – Two hens have found a home among residents of a Tinley Park memory care community.

There’s comfort dogs and equine therapy, now add chickens to the mix of animals providing emotional support to humans.

The feathered friends are bringing a sense of calm and purpose to Porter Place.

“I’m always constantly looking for new and creative innovative programming ideas for our seniors here,” Life Engagement Director Jennifer Boonstra said. “Giving them meaningful opportunities to engage not just in your typical kind of activities not just bingo and arts and crafts thinking outside of the box and giving them meaningful things to do.”

Boonstra said a lot of the seniors grew up on farms and they reminisce of taking care of chickens.

“My mother is going to be 98 actually this October and she grew up in a time when it was very common to have chickens and other things in the backyard,” said Pat Monahan, daughter of Porter Place resident.

The chickens are actually rented. They’ll go back to their farm during the winter. But the facility is planning for their return in the spring.

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