Celebrating our furry and feathered friends on World Animal Day
World Animal Day is on 4th October and at Brendoncare, our residents and teams cannot get enough of their regular furry and feathered visitors.
Animals are so important for our physical and mental wellbeing as they give unconditional love, companionship, support and help to everyone.
We are so fortunate to have had an almost continuous cavalcade of two and four legged friends to our care homes this year.
Some of the most welcome at Brendoncare Alton and Brendoncare Otterbourne Hill care homes are the animals from Mill Farm Cottage Experience. Their donkeys and sheep brought much delight when they trotted inside the care homes.
Our lovely resident pictured here was also absolutely entranced by this beautiful baby kid goat at Brendoncare Alton.
Miniature ponies and some stunning birds from Falconry UK, including this cheeky kookaburra, have visited Brendoncare Froxfield. Our lovely Wiltshire care home also has its own resident rabbit Rolo who brings so much joy to everyone there.
Penguins are also incredibly popular and entertaining- and more visits from them are being lined up.
Our care homes also receive regular visits from Pets As Therapy (PAT) dogs. Some mechanical cats and dogs were bought for our residents as alternative companions during lockdown.
Rebecca Spicer, Brendoncare’s Wellbeing Manager, explains:
‘Wellbeing is so much more than the word games and outings. Bringing animals to show our residents adds an element of home: a visiting PAT dog, social farm experience or even a pet animal for the home adds to this.
‘Animals bring love and comfort to our residents, and for them, the nurturing feeling of caring or parenting something is familiar. In practice, all residents have a natural instinct to stroke a dog, hold a chick or pet a horse. It’s those special moments that are engrained in our memories, giving us that warm fuzzy ‘good’ feeling in our tummy.’
Animal visits to care homes can bring back fond memories for residents. Many remember previous pets or happy times with friends and family when they encounter visiting animals.
Animals also give residents a break in routine and are something to which they can look forward.
But that’s not all – research suggests that animals, their calming nature and affection can offer health benefits. These include lowering people’s blood pressure and heart rate, increasing levels of oxytocin (the stress-reducing hormone) and decreasing the production of the stress hormone cortisol in people’s bodies.
We love seeing our residents’ excitement when they hold a duckling or stroke a donkey. But those lovely smiles are not the only benefit of petting these animals.
Our residents love stroking an animal’s fur or feathers, hearing their unique sounds, holding them in their laps, feeding them and grooming them. These interactions provide great sensory stimulation for them and are particularly beneficial for people with dementia.
No wonder we are all animal lovers here at Brendoncare!