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Company News, Lady Jane Court, Leicester

Pet Therapy

Pet therapy is a guided interaction between an individual and a specially trained animal, often facilitated by the animal’s handler. The primary objective of pet therapy is to aid individuals in their recovery from or adaptation to health problems or mental disorders.

For many individuals, the presence of a pet brings joy and solace. Consequently, it is only natural for them to worry about the possibility of parting with their beloved companions if they need to enter a nursing or care facility. Animals can help support residents’ social, emotional and cognitive needs and act as a reminiscence discussion topic. Incorporating pet therapy into care home activities offers several advantages:

  1. Improved mental well-being: Interacting with animals can release serotonin, prolactin, and oxytocin. These are the ‘Happy Hormones’, promoting relaxation and reducing anxiety. Studies indicate that introducing pets in care homes can have calming effects on residents with dementia, minimising negative behaviours associated with agitation.
  2. Enhanced physical well-being: Activities such as grooming an animal or playing fetch with a dog provide residents with opportunities for physical activity during therapy sessions. Research suggests that it can alleviate the effects of specific health conditions, such as reducing blood pressure in individuals with heart conditions.
  3. Stimulates reminiscence: The presence of animals in care homes can trigger memories and conversations among residents about their past pets, encouraging reminiscence.

Pet therapy, a cherished practice at Avery Healthcare, has proven to be a remarkable source of joy and a positive impact on the residents. Lady Jane Court Care Home in Leicester recently hosted various engaging activities, including a memorable visit from Lucia’s Tiny Farm. This delightful experience featured an array of beautiful animals, and Lucia’s wealth of knowledge made the afternoon truly special. Residents relished interacting with furry friends like rabbits, guinea pigs, dogs, and some scaly companions, including tortoises, a bearded dragon, and Ethel, the glamorous chicken.

Research extensively underscores the manifold benefits of pet therapy for psychological and emotional well-being. Collaborating closely with initiatives like Pets As Therapy (PAT), we welcome various animals into our homes to engage with residents.

Reflecting on the visit, Justyna, Customer Service Manager at Lady Jane Court, shared, “Our residents loved spending time with the animals. One had a lap full of furry companions – she was in her element”. Meanwhile, Ashurst Mews Care Home in Northampton enjoyed a visit from Nigel and Truffles, goat brothers, and Bramble the Shetland Pony from Jellybeans Pony Party.

Saxon Manor Care Home in Godmanchester welcomed Michelles’ Animal Therapy & Petting Party, enthralling residents with the experience. After the visit, Saxon Manor Care Home residents expressed their enjoyment, and the staff, too, had an absolute blast. These heartwarming interactions with therapy animals bring joy to the residents and create lasting memories, fostering a positive and vibrant atmosphere in the Avery community.