Contributed By: Caregiver Mary
There is something about being close to animals that seems to change humans...for the better. In fact, research has found that animals can help reduce stress, and lower blood pressure. At the same time, they often increase social interaction and physical activity. Also, seeing and holding the animals may trigger long-term memories. So we are thrilled when Dawn Cordeiro of Farm Visits comes by with cuddly critters to visit the residents in our dementia unit. The response is so positive to this "pet therapy." We see the use of many of the senses. Instincts come to the surface. Moods improve and emotion is shown. And the animals seem to like the attention, too.
And here is what Dawn sees. "From the moment the animals come in the door residents and employees are smiling and are drawn to the animals. Snuggling with our bunnies, chickens and chicks just relaxes the residents. Watching our quirky diapered goats dance around the room and playing with the piglet bring lots of laughter. It is an amazing and heart warming experience for our staff as well as the Golden Pond residents!"
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