Nursing Home on a Farm
There is a segment of the population for whom living among animals is an existential need. Such interaction improves their physical and mental health. The benefits of living among animals have been proven by medical and veterinary research, and there is precedent for it around the world.
Studies on the matter (including Dafna Golan Shemesh's "The Soul, Animals and Aging: The Positive Impact of Dealing with Animals on Senior Citizens") have proven the substantial benefits of living with animals as a solution to physical and mental challenges faced by senior citizens, who receive unconditional love, a sense of security and the responsibility that they feel when giving to animals.
Being close with animals provides answers for different needs, including the need for physical contact and closeness, the need for mutual reliance, to love and be loved, increasing a sense of control, and strengthening personal identity as someone who benefits society and the environment. In addition, it has been found that being close to animals increases physical activity, which strengthens cognitive and physiological abilities among senior citizens,
The Farmhouse will include several possible living arrangements, which will be matched up with the status of the residents. There will be independent living arrangements and rooms intended for residents who need nursing care, which will provide the variety of services they require and would recieve in normal standard nursing homes, such as medical and mental health treatments, culture and sports.
The animals who live in the Farmhouse will move freely in the yard as an inseparable part of the Farmhouse's environment. There will be farm animals like roosters, turkeys, donkeys, ducks, geese, rabbits, cats and dogs.
The variety of animals available will enable an experience for the full spectrum of the residents, no matter how they are functioning, whether they are independent and creative and paid for the work they commit themselves to do or disabled residents who for instance might only be able to smell the animals.
The garden will include crops, fruit trees, herbs and spices and grow agricultural products, depending on the season, which can be used by the facility.
The Farmhouse will be a functioning farm, which besides being a home and living environment for senior citizens and animals, will include a restaurant/cafe that will serve the products of the farm, hospitality rooms and an active community center for neighboring residents.
The community of residents will be responsible for its life. Already at the beginning, upon getting admitted, future plans will be addressed and personal needs will be considered. There will be an active committee of seniors about life in the facility. There will be teams made up of the seniors and workers whose role will be guiding and instructing new residents and workers
The Farmhouse will enable a different lifestyle than what is available today for senior citizens in Israel. Bringing it to fruition will enable the community of residents to enjoy their latter years.
Developing the Environment of the Farmhouse
Nearby, there will be construction of additional business areas connected to animals like a dog kennel, therapeutic horse ranch, goat milk production facility, bee hives producing honey, vines for wine, etc. These will be independent businesses and will receive land on condition that they cooperate with the farm house in its treatments and employ residents. The businesses will target external consumers, because the facility will be a center for the community of varied ages around it and will enable the involvement of residents with the aid of various staff members and volunteering and cooperation with kindergartens, schools and special needs populations.