Pet therapy: why caring for animals is great for wellbeing in care homes

Animal-loving residents at Country Court Care and Nursing Homes are celebrating Pet therapy month in May. To celebrate we are enjoying all things animal-related from trips out to zoos, farms and wildlife parks, to bringing pets to visit in our care homes.

At Country Court, we encourage residents to continue to enjoy their hobbies and interests. At Oakview Lodge Care & Nursing Home in Welwyn Garden City resident Jacqui has continued to enjoy her passion for horse riding thanks to the Country Court ‘Make a wish’ initiative. Jacqui took part in regular horse riding sessions thanks to the Riding for the Disabled initiative.

At Rose Lodge Care Home in Market Deeping a resident bought his dog Missey to live with him. “We're more than happy to accommodate Missey” said Home Manager Nogi John. “He was overjoyed his beloved pet could come and live with him here at Rose Lodge. It really helped him to settle in quickly and the other residents just loved her. She quickly became one of the family.”

At Abbey Grange Care and Nursing Home in Sheffield residents hatched their own duck eggs. The ducks now happily live in the garden and residents enjoy caring for them as part of their daily routine.

Being around animals has been shown to provide many benefits such as...

Improved Mood:

Studies have shown that the use of pet therapy in care homes can improve moods; decrease feelings of anxiety and sadness whilst making them feel calm and relaxed and increases social interaction which is beneficial as people with dementia are at risk of developing depression.

Set Routine:

Having a pet around helps people with dementia establish and maintain their routines by waking them up and reminding them when to eat and take their medication. Feeding, grooming, and walking also help with their daily routine and encourage care home residents to be more active.

Unlock memories:

Pets can help people with dementia to unlock and bring back happy memories from times they owned a pet themselves or times with family and friends. These feelings can help care home residents feel more at home and can provide a distraction from any negative feelings.

Sometimes it is not possible to use real pets therefore robotic pets are used. Robotic pets provide the same comfort that real pets do without the commitment of taking care of a real pet. Our care homes such as Lakeview Lodge recently received two robotic pets which have been put to wonderful use.

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