Parrot shows at hospitals/nursing homes?

I was just wondering what you all thought of doing small parrot shows at hospitals, assisted living centers, and nursing homes? Last year I started playing my harp in nursing homes to get more performing experience and I was amazed and how much those people enjoy something to break up the routine of their day. Even though I usually play much of the same music every time I go, they bug the nurses about when I am coming back! Some of them don’t even get visited by their family anymore. I know many nursing homes put together events such as card games and Sunday Bible-reading circles, but they still need people to come in and make the residents feel like they’re not forgotten. Also, I bet kids who are stuck in hospitals due to long-term recovery would be fascinated by a parrot show. You could also talk to them about parrots and your particular species. You could get your parrot used to other people and if he behaves well, even let the kids pose for pictures! I think this would be a great way to socialize your parrot and get him used to performing the tricks he knows in front of more than just your family, and you would be able to share your enthusiasm for parrots! Have any of you done something like this? Would you share your tips/concerns/experiences?

my grandfather was hospitalized for about 2 years before he passed due to a headinjury (he got pushed down a set of stairs when he refused to give up his watch when someone tried to rob him) and his two dogs landed in my care, and he had some memories most of them really old, some more recent, he remembered the dogs and was constantly asking where they were why they wern’t living with him etc, he recognized me but thought I was my uncle etc. Anyways we got him rehomed to a home that was for old people rather than sick people but with the possibilities to give him constant care since he couldnt move around on his own etc. Anyways, at the new home animals were allowed, not as residents but as visitors, so I started bringing the dogs thee everyday during the afternoons, and most of the folks living there really appresiated the visits since we usually walked by the livingroom area where they could play cards etc. (all these folks were confined to wheelchairs except a couple and I think all of them had some issues with memory and knowing who they were and where they were… anyways the visits with the dogs were highly appresiated and a lot of the patients previously not wanting to leave their rooms asked the staff to move them out to the common areas in the afternoons when they knew I would stop by with the dogs, and if i ever showed up without the dogs they all asked about them (I was in school and didnt have time to get the dogs before visiting every day, and i felt visiting was the most important even if the dogs were left hom a day or two)But I do think animals overall is appresiated in situations like these, especially animals they can pet and feel the soft fur, since most people has had a dog or a cat sometime during their lifetime. Saying that I dont think a parrot show would be any less appresiated, although it requires you and your birds to perform, rather than spending a couple of hours sitting there playing cards or watch TV and let the dogs walk around to be petted, and as for kids, what kid does not like a show with animals, just look at what parks can sharge for a parrotshow or dogshow etc, as soon as it is a show with any type of animal you usually will have to pay extra and the lines fill up.I currently do work with children, sometimes when I am not encumbred with studies, but I try to work around my studies so that I can be present when group of kids come with physical issues (sorry about my wording I do not know the proper terms in english and I do not wish to sound disrespectful). Anyways when we have group of kids here we let them hang out with horses, try ride them also help us feed the goats and bunnies and look for eggs. all the animals used in these events are well socialized, even the goats come when you call them by name and they kind of act like dogs when being padded, at these things we usually serv a lunch or hot chocolate and biscuits etc depending on what time their here. then Ive for the past 5 weeks been bringing Polarn downstairs to sit at a playgym keeping us company. even if some of the little girls come here loving horses they all seem to think it is really kewl with a bird that is able to be outside the cage, comes when you call him and can wave goodbye as he is put away again. that is about what my bird knows so far but just that alone is fascinating by kids, so having a little birdshow I think would be highly appresiated… see if i get there sometime… Prolly wont be travelling around to hospitals but has been thinking about incorporating it into the meeting the animals activities, seeing the biggest reason for doing it is to break up a normal everyday booring life and let kids that normally wouldnt get the opportunity to experience things that other kids does. some kids are freequent and come here weekly, others are booked in by organizations that has gathered kids together to come here. not all kids are disabled that we work with i might add, but thosue are the groups where I usually spend the time studying or working with the birds instead. Sorry about the long post, but yeah I think bringing animals to homes etc is a good idea, becouse it puts a little bit of bling back into the golden frame of everyones lifes, and for some people that frame is fading away. And if you can help out restore just a corner of it thats all good.

Thanks for your reply Polarn! I have been so impressed with the results of playing my harp at nursing homes. Some patients who have never spoken or even made eye contact start chatting with me after my performance and the nurses are in shock! There have been numerous studies on how animals are therapeutic, so I would love to bring a parrot around for little shows when I get one… especially since I am planning on getting a cockatiel or a budgie, and who can resist loving such a cute little bird?

just reread the end of the previous post… when kids with special needs are here I try to be present to help out, just lifting kids up and down to the saddles are heavy work and you need extra persons to help out. and since I am the only male involved in this I definitly try lighten the burden of these tasks off of the nice girls and ladies working on this project 7 days a week.When there is "normal" kids, thats when i usually study or work with the birds, well i usually join in for a little bit, especially if there are new kids or groups with boys in them, then I usually saddle one of the big horses and ride with them a bit. especially if there is a kid that has mentioned beeing tesed at school or something for enjoying the weekly visits to ride, then i usually get someone ride the quad with the bulldummie behind and show em what roping looks like (I am not too good at it, but good enough to catch it most of the times ) kinda making sure to let them know it is okay to enjoy things others think is for girls or whatever. I grew up around horses… never really been my biggest interest, but I do enjoy having the opportunity to borrow horses and ride whenever i like, but I would never get one myself simply becouse I am not interested in riding every day, especially not during winters.Yeah I think it is a shame some people go by "neglected" and as i said, restore some of their happiness is worth its weight in gold. as for cute little bird I think it is quite a terriffic idea to use budgies or cockatiels for things like that, for two reasons, one is to show that even small birds can learn, the other is since you mentioned posting for pictures etc… in case the bird do happen to bite them it is a little more barable with a smaller bird.

the woman who helped me adopt mya has her own birds that she takes to nursing homes,schools,and festivals to educate people about parrots they even let people hold the birds for pictures. i’m not sure i would take mine to a hospital i try to limit contact when i’m sick to avoid getting them sick.

pennyandrocky wrote:i’m not sure i would take mine to a hospital i try to limit contact when i’m sick to avoid getting them sick.Do birds pick up sicknesses from people? I know pet monkeys do, but I didn’t think birds got sick from us. I’ve had a dog, a few cats and 2 horses, they’ve never gotten sick even when we did. I just assumed that because birds aren’t mammalian, they wouldn’t get the same viruses we do.

i read it somwhere a few years ago never heard of it happening to anyone i know personally but i wouldn’t take a chance.i might be an overprotective mom,i try to read everything i can on things that harm parrots.

but then again i think it depends on where you go as well, even if birds pick up sickness I might still have considered bringing them to a nursing home with limited contact, or say at children with lukemia or something that im pretty sure isnt transmitting to the birds, however you would most likely want to restrict it the other way around there.

I know the Womachs (they run bird tricks) used to let their birds interact with kids during the pre-shows when they were in the circus. Those birds were exposed to thousands and thousands of kids every week and they never got sick from it.

I think the only disease birds can get from people is psittacosis. Not sure though, but I haven’t heard of any other ones…