The team and residents at Hatfield Residential and Nursing Home have been enjoying the positive effects of fluffy four legged friends and animals from afar, over the past few weeks.
Supporting research which shows fussing, feeding and caring for animals enhances wellbeing and can even reduce stress, the Tamblin Way home actively organise regular animal-assisted therapy sessions for the benefit of their residents, as well as a helping with reminiscence.
Recent sessions include Paradise Wildlife Park – whose Out Reach Team brought popular favourites from their Broxbourne based zoo into the home, including a rabbit, skink (a type of lizard) and Madagascan Hedgehog, and ZooLab – a provider of animal handling workshops.
The Sanctuary Care home’s manager Mary Tolladay said: “Animal sessions are always popular within the home as our residents find handling animals – even snakes and tarantulas– very enjoyable! Their faces light up as soon as any animal arrives and watching them create a bond is so heartwarming to see.”
Following the ZooLab session, 86-year-old resident Patricia Goode said: “I really enjoyed meeting the creepy crawlies, especially handling them!”
Fellow resident, Vera Simmons (pictured) added: “Caramel the rabbit [from Paradise Wildlife Park] was so lovely and comfortable – he sat on my lap for 15 minutes. It was perfect.”
Animal therapy promotes wellbeing, encourages social participation and enhances the quality of life of many, including residents living with dementia.