One evening back in the summer of 2016, a yellow cockatiel walked into Ruth’s House Assisted Living in Longmeadow, Massachusetts…and never left. Sure, attempts were made to find out if anyone around JGS Lifecare, of which Ruth’s House is a part, was missing a pet, but no one claimed ownership.
And so, several years later, “Tweety” is a treasured resident of the assisted living facility – serenading residents, staring at his reflection in the mirror, and visiting residents in their apartments.
Staff members believe he provides emotional support to the residents. “Studies with bird sounds have showed that they may have a restorative effect on individuals,” says Susan Halpern, JGS vice president of development and communications. “Of course, it’s not an exact science, but I do notice that our residents light up as soon as they see or hear Tweety!”
Main Photo: Tweety brightens the day of Ruth’s House resident John Ferranti.