If you’ve been lucky enough to have a pet, then you know just how much happiness they can bring. They can make you smile, listen to you, and provide comfort when you feel down. But they can do much more than providing emotional support. For the elderly in particular, animals can play an important role in their health and wellbeing.
So let’s talk about the healing powers of animals for a second! What is it about them that just makes you smile and feel comforted and joyful?
Many of our Infinite Care homes regularly welcome animal visitors to spend quality time with our residents. Residents at Caravonica Waters were thrilled to recently receive a visit from some beautiful gentle horses (pictured left), and Ipswich residents loved a recent visit from some cute guinea pigs (pictured below right).
So why are animals so effective in residential aged care?
They provide companionship. Many residents are no longer able to care for their own pets so visiting pets often fill the gap by providing the companionship that they miss, which can also reduce feelings of loneliness
They provide comfort. The act of cuddling and hugging animals can be soothing for residents, helping to reduce stress and anxiety and combat feelings of depression
They can prompt treasured memories. Interaction with certain types of animals often reminds residents of pets they owned growing up, this is particularly beneficial for our residents who are living with dementia
They can improve overall health. By encouraging positive emotions, social interaction and increased mental and physical activity levels, overall health and wellbeing can improve
These types of visits provide excellent conversation as residents talk with team members and one another about the various animals they have owned and their experiences with animals in their younger years.
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