Unlocking Joy: Pet Therapy and Its Benefits at Albany Lodge

Animal interventions, such as Pet Therapy, can improve confidence and self-esteem in people living with Dementia. It can also promote and encourage independence, quality of life, and elevate mood. Individuals with Dementia may struggle with communication and maintaining conversation, but having a pet or participating in regular pet therapy sessions can help them stay engaged.

Our residents thoroughly enjoy the pet therapy afternoons, as do our relatives and friends at Albany Lodge. We adore the furry companions, particularly Dotty the pony and Lila the Shih Tzu, who loves having a free ride around the service.

During our spring pet therapy visit, we welcomed two new furry friends: orphaned lambs named Paddy and Guinness. They were a great hit with our residents, along with the rabbits and guinea pigs who joined for some strokes, kisses, and cuddles.

People living with dementia are prone to developing depression, which further compromises their daily functioning or quality of life. Bringing in animals lifts mood and encourages engagement, benefiting not only the residents but also the staff.

We recently witnessed a gentleman who had trouble engaging with staff, but upon seeing the animals, his face lit up. He initiated conversation for the first time and asked questions about the animals. He particularly enjoyed having Lila the dog lay with him on his bed. Before we left, he asked if we could visit him again with animals, which we’ll do on a monthly basis.

We’re fortunate to have Karen’s Pets and Ponies for our pet therapy. Both Karen and her sister Sarah have compassion and love for what they do. All therapy animals are rescue animals given a second chance and retrained to visit us. They are gentle with our residents and well-behaved.

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