Pet Therapy Benefits Seniors

Did you know that seniors who own dogs go to the doctor less often than those who don’t? In a study of 100 Medicare patients, even the most highly stressed dog owners had a 21 percent lower level of physician contact than non-owners.

Medication costs dropped from an average of $3.80 per patient per day to $1.18 per patient per day when nursing homes allowed for pets to be introduced into patient’s environments. Nursing homes in New York, Missouri and Texas were all used in the study.

I was first introduced to pet therapy in college.  I volunteered with an organization that took dogs from the local shelter and brought them to a nearby assisted living facility.  It was so much fun to sit with the seniors and listen to them tell me their life stories while we played with the dogs.  It was also a great way to get the dogs out of the shelter for the day.  It was what you call a win-win!  

Today I took our dog Kaya to the Adult Day Health Center at the Durham Center for Senior Life.  I was a little nervous at first because Kaya can be a barker, but she was a perfect angel!  The seniors took turns holding her in their lap and petting her.  My only regret was that it was just me and Kaya.  I wish we had more dogs with us so all of the seniors would have the opportunity to pet a dog.  I’ll be recruiting my friends with dogs to join me next time!  

Please enjoy these pictures of Kaya with the seniors and if you’d like to learn more about the Adult Day Health program at the Durham Center For Senior Life, please click here.  It is a wonderful program that helps seniors and their families!

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Join Us at the Sunset Golf Classic!

Wiggen Law Group will be at the Sunset Golf Classic on May 16th at Croasdaile Country Club.  This is a great event to raise money for Durham Seniors.  Please join us  for the entire day beginning with a hot southern breakfast at 8:30am , lots of golf and ending with the “banquet/silent auction after party”

If you’re not a golfer, you can still attend the silent auction after party for only $25!  This buys you all the beer and wine you desire, fabulous food from Thrills from the Grill, live beach music by Chuck Alford and a chance to bid on some excellent items at the silent auction while networking with many of your colleagues.

For more information visit

Please feel free to contact me with questions. If you’re interested in donating an item to the silent auction or promotional items for the golfers’ goodie bags, please let Jean Carden know by Friday of this week.  You can contact her at the Durham Center for Senior Life: (919)688.8247.

Have a Heart Wine Tasting and Silent Auction

It’s that time of year again, time for the annual Have a Heart Wine Tasting and Silent Auction to benefit Independent Animal Rescue.  This great event is held at Rigsbee Hall in downtown Durham from 4pm-8pm Sunday, February 27th.  Taste some wonderful wines and tasty local food and help out animals in need.  You can find more information about this event and purchase tickets here.

Legacy Awards Breakfast Honoring Seniors


Thursday, February 17, 2011, the Durham Center for Senior Life will hold its first Annual Legacy Awards Breakfast to honor seniors who have made Durham a great place to live.
The first honorees are:
Mary Duke Semans, Philanthropist;
John Lucas, Educator; and
Sylvia Kerckhoff, former Mayor of Durham.
In addition, DCSL will honor Suntrust Bank as its “Champion for Seniors” and Sarah Meggett will receive an “Inspiration Award.”
The event will be held at Croasdaile Country Club with registration beginning at 8 AM. Sponsorships and tickets are available by contacting Danielle Irwin at (919) 688-8247 ext. 116.

More information can be found here



Join us for a presentation on long-term care!

Wiggen Law Group will be hosting a joint presentation with Always Best Care next Thursday, August 26th at 11:00am at the Durham Center for Senior Life.

Stephanie Gregory from Always Best Care will discuss the different types of long-term care available to seniors, such as in-home care, independent living, assisted living and nursing home care.

Dori Wiggen from Wiggen Law Group will follow this discussion with information about benefits available to seniors to help pay for long-term care, such as medicaid, special assistance and a special benefit offered to veterans or their widows called aid and attendance.  Contact the Durham Center for Senior Life today to sign up to attend this FREE presentation.