Animal Assisted Therapy at Cedars Care Group Homes
We’ve had a wild and wonderful start to spring at Cedars Care Group homes, with much of our activities involving animals. It all began with a visit from Alfie, to our North Somerset care home, Ellenborough Nursing & Residential Home. The gorgeous 9 week old Cavalier King Charles Spaniel belongs to our Activities Coordinator, Jenny. When our residents met Alfie, it was love at first sight, with hours spent petting and playing with him.
There are no shortage of research articles that highlight the benefits of animal assisted therapy for people with dementia and Alzheimer’s. Studies have shown a marked decrease in feelings of sadness and anxiety, when elderly people in care took part in activities involving pets.
Non-judgmental by nature, animals can offer unconditional love and social support. Here are some of the benefits of pet-therapy, for elderly people living in care and those with dementia:
A motivation for Physical Activity: Pets motivate elderly people to take part in physical activities like walking and playing.
A Sense of Purpose: The responsibility of nurturing a pet gives elderly people in care a sense of being needed. While the anticipation of observing an animal’s growth and development, gives one something to look forward to.
An outlet for Communication: People living with dementia often become frustrated by the difficulties they face when trying to communicate with others. Able to communicate on a deeper level, pets provide a connection that people with dementia can understand and appreciate.
Meaningful Enjoyment: Engaging with animals can be a welcome break from routine, offering fun activities and soothing company.
Reminiscence: For a person with dementia, whose world is changing rapidly, animals can evoke fond feelings that are familiar to them. They can also remind them of joyful memories of pets they once had, and inspire feelings of playfulness.
At Cedars Care Group, we welcome every opportunity to bring animals into our homes. We find that they are a source of great comfort for our residents who love to pet and interact with them. Often we have visits from pets of friends, and mobile zoos of exotic animals, like the one that visited some of our care homes earlier this April. But our animal antics reached peak excitement mid-month when a duckling hatching kit from Incredible Eggs, was brought to our Southport care home, Cedar Grange Care Centre!
Residents and staff alike fawned over the partly incubated eggs until they hatched. They’ve been involved in the care and upbringing of the ducklings since. They are aided by children from a local day nursery, who visit several times a week to also care for the ducklings. Read More
“What an incredible moment our residents and the children from the local day nursery witnessed in our home, when the ducklings hatched!” said Liz, our Activities Manager at Cedar Grange, Woodlands Manor and Ash Croft House. “Our residents suffer from dementia and/or alzheimer’s. This has been the best experience they could have had. They look forward to seeing the ducklings every day. We also have duck therapy days now where they can see and hold them when feeling low. This has lifted the spirits of not only the residents but the staff and families too. I can’t believe how much positivity and happiness this has brought into residents lives.”
Now at our East Sussex care home, Cedarwood House, we’re eagerly awaiting the arrival of nine chicks! The eggs arrived from our local farm, Valley View, and are cosy in their incubator, waiting to hatch.
Meaningful activities are a fundamental part of day-to-day life at Cedars Care Group homes. They are vital for the wellbeing of seniors, and those living with dementia or Alzheimer’s. Pet Therapy comes pretty high up on our list of spiritual and therapeutic activities with great benefits to residents. You can find out more about our Activities Here.