FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – Some unlikely visitors are doing a lot of horsing around at American Senior Communities nursing home sites across the Hoosier state. “They come right up to the windows and look in,” said Wess Jackson referring to the horses he and his family take to ASC sites. Why horses? Jackson, says they’re therapeutic. “The horses help the emotional health of our residents and employees. With this COVID-19 deal we got shut-ins. So we’re going up to the windows and the horses are saying hi and making people feel good.”
The horses don’t really say hi but they do look in through windows and put smiles on the faces of those inside the nursing homes. Jackson calls his small herd the ASC Calvary Horses of Hope. He owns them own. There’s Hero, Goldie, and Romeo the pony along with a dog named Cinch. Jackson is an ASC Senior Executive who decided a little horsing around would be good for morale. “The people, they’re stuck inside and it breaks our hearts. At the same time it truly does bring us joy to get to see their good attitudes,” said Jackson.
Horses of Hope is visiting ASC sites around Indiana. WANE 15 caught up with the animals this month connecting with nursing home residents and staff at Heritage Park at 2001 Hobson Road in Fort Wayne. Like all nursing homes, it’s a site under visitation restrictions because of the pandemic.
“It’s so rewarding to see them smile and for them to see that we’re going a little above and beyond to help make their day brighter,” said Jane King, Director of Marketing at Heritage Park. She said the dog and pony show turned out to be one of the nursing home’s “mane” events this month. “They’re noble animals. They’re wonderful and it’s something that you don’t get to see everyday especially in the city of Fort Wayne. We’re right near downtown and we’re bringing in the horses.”
“We’re bringing smiles and trying to break the monotony,” said Jackson. “It’s just fun stuff.” Jackson runs ASC Calvary Horses of Hope with his family. They hope to visit all 87 American Senior Communities sites across Indiana. Click here for more information.