The recent birth of 9 baby rabbits at our Rose Court facility has caused quite a stir. With over 300 likes on our facebook post at last count it had us all reflecting on the response these furry new additions had received from the elderly residents at Rose Court.
We then heard another beautiful related story come out of Rose Court and couldn’t wait to share it.
Recently, one of our staff brought her dog Casper in to visit the residents. Caspar is a lovely 6-year-old Samoyed/Golden Retriever who is extremely gentle and loves socialising with our residents at Rose Court. Staff have often noticed that Casper seems to gravitate towards residents who have a cognitive impairment or mental health diagnosis.
A disease so advanced
On this particular day Casper sat next to one of the residents who we will call ‘Rose’. ‘Rose’ suffers from advanced Alzheimer’s, the disease is so acute that she barely communicates and does not display any emotion.
A touching response
As Casper sat quietly beside her, ‘Rose’ reached out and lifted his face to hers. She then started stroking his head, speaking to him in her native language and crying. This was the first response anyone had seen from ‘Rose’ in a long time, and everyone around felt very touched by witnessing the exchange.
Other attempted strategies
Many other strategies have been attempted to incite a response from ‘Rose’, including music and the use of an animated ‘breathing’ toy dog that has seemed to help others with cognitive impairment. ‘Rose’ has not reacted to the toy dog in any way, yet she and others respond strongly to a live animal. ‘Rose’ spent a long time talking to Casper that day as he sat patiently by her, and well into the next day she was animated and laughing. Sadly though, ‘Rose’ soon retreated back into her own world.
Staff report witnessing incredible transformations in their animal loving residents when Casper visits. Stories of family pets past and present are happily swapped as they all shower him with love.
The residents cannot wait for Casper to visit again.
The power of animal therapy is truly magnificent!
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