Gunvar joined Sandpiper in 2012, temporarily stepping away in 2016. However, in...Learn more
26 October 2023
Residents and the dedicated team at Holbeach Meadows were absolutely delighted to welcome Michelle’s Animal Therapy and Petting Party for the second time. Anticipation was high as we eagerly anticipated her new furry and scaly additions.
Diego, the long-haired chihuahua, stole the show instantly, showering everyone with affection in the form of cuddles and joyful licks. Simon and Boots, the Persian Ragdoll cats, made themselves right at home, with Simon even dozing off after receiving countless strokes. Holly and Thumper, the bunnies, Peanut the lovable Guinea pig, and Hammy the friendly hamster all basked in the attention and snuggles. And then came the more exotic members of the party: Doris, the hen, Bow, the Herman tortoise, and Ed, the bearded dragon.
Tiny Bow and the ever-relaxed Ed captivated our hearts, with the experience of holding them being a delightful first for many of us. As if the day couldn’t get any more surprising, Michelle treated us to a hilarious race between Diego and Doris. If you had asked us that morning, none of us would have expected to witness a hen beating a dog in a race in our very own lounge!
Pet therapy is a cherished part of our monthly activities program, a practice supported by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) and the Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE) guidelines, particularly for individuals with dementia. Extensive research underscores the therapeutic value of animals. They bring pleasure and solace to our residents, foster social interactions, offer sensory experiences, and provide a profound sense of engagement. The simple act of stroking an animal or basking in its presence releases “feel good” hormones, elevating moods and reducing stress and anxiety.
One resident, who typically prefers the solitude of her room, couldn’t resist the allure of these adorable creatures. Her radiant smile and newfound enthusiasm were a testament to the joy she derived from this unique interaction. Witnessing the happiness on the faces of our residents as they met, held, and pampered the animals was a heartwarming experience, and their beaming smiles conveyed the sheer delight they felt.