A specialist dementia care home has re-launched its permanent pet therapy facility to contribute to the care of its residents.
The Lodge, which is based within the award-winning Buckshaw Retirement Village, Chorley, recently launched The Pet Shop, which is home to several pet rabbits, fish and guinea pigs.
The Pet Shop was introduced to provide the residents with therapeutic engagement and interaction with the animals under the supervision of the experienced carers at The Lodge. Residents can pet, hold and feed the animals and some are involved in cleaning and maintenance of the area.
Lisa Barnes, Regional Director, said: “This is a fantastic and popular activity which provides an enriching experience for our residents.
“Research has suggested that as well as companionship pets provide benefits including the ability to lower blood pressure, and heart rate, reduce stress and boost levels of serotonin – the feel-good hormone.
“We have noted that there is often a special connection between animals and people with dementia or Alzheimer’s. It is not uncommon to see someone transition from emotionless to joyful when a pet enters the room, especially if it triggers special memories.”
Buckshaw is part of The Hica Group, a not for profit organisation, which operates a portfolio of 20 residential care homes, five of which are for people with a learning disability, along with two retirement villages. The company also runs a home care service providing approximately 11,500 hours of support and care from four regional offices in the North of England.