On Wednesday 18th October we were visited by a number of special guests – cute ones, eight legged ones, scaley ones and fluffy ones as alpacas, spiders, snakes and guinea pigs, to name just a few came to spend an afternoon with us.
Knightly Alpaca Trekking and The Animal Club came to The Manor House with a wonderful menagerie of animals. Our residents took it in turns to pet and hold the animals both in The Hub and throughout the nursing home.
Angela Sands, Operations Director commented, “it was a super day for both our staff and residents. The smiles on the faces of our residents were lovely to see. What made the day even more special was being able to take the Alpacas into different parts of the home, so no-one missed out. I think Betty was most delighted to see an Alpaca in her bedroom!
It’s important that we make sure all of our residents get to take part in our activities, and if for any reason they can’t go to The Hub, we take the activity to them.”
According to a study of animal assisted activity among older adults in the journal Geriatric Nursing, animal interaction can reduce anxiety and loneliness in older adults. As little as 12 minutes of animal interaction may also improve lung and heart health by lowering blood pressure and reducing the release of epinephrine, which increases heart rate and can cause anxiety.
Jayne Wood, Director of Nursing commented ‘petting animals brings many clinical benefits for our residents, as well as happiness and comfort which all help create a feeling of contentment.
Pet or animal therapy (also known as animal assisted therapy) uses animals as a form of companionship and treatment for people of all ages. The aim of therapy can be to improve emotional, social, or cognitive abilities.
We often bring animals into the nursing home as research has proved that they can increase levels of oxytocin in our bodies which is the stress reducing hormone, whilst also decreasing the production of cortisol which is a producer of stress, we also find that residents are more likely to join in with group activities when a therapy pet is around which helps to build friendships and companionship”.
Keep your eye on our Facebook page to see the regular activities we hold for our residents.