How can pet therapy dogs improve the wellbeing of residents?

Using animals for therapeutic purposes can greatly benefit elderly people. The presence of a friendly, furry companion can reduce feelings of loneliness and isolation, as well as lower stress and boost wellbeing. 

To celebrate National Pet Month, we’re featuring our very own pet therapy dogs, Connie and Melly. Keep reading to discover more about our paw-some pals:

Introducing our Pet Therapy Dogs, Connie and Melly

At our Mountside Care Home, we regularly arrange heartwarming visits from two of our furry friends — who happen to be Pets as Therapy (PAT) dogs

Our beloved companions, Connie and Melly, bring immense joy and happiness to our Laton Road home, and greatly lift our residents’ spirits.

What’s more, our residents aren’t the only ones who adore the dogs — our amazing staff members love interacting with them, too! 

Our four-legged friends have become a treasured part of our care home, bringing comfort to those around them with their calm and soothing presence.

The Benefits of Pet Therapy Dogs

There are various emotional and physical benefits of pet therapy for seniors. These include increased self-esteem and confidence, improved social skills, and reduced feelings of loneliness. 

Pet therapy dogs, in particular, have an incredible ability to connect with people on an emotional level. Renowned for being ‘man’s best friend’, dogs offer unconditional love and affection that brightens our residents’ days.

It’s fair to say our PAT dogs, Connie and Melly, bring joy and happiness to everyone around them!

Our Residents’ Thoughts on Pet Therapy Dogs

As part of National Pet Month, we decided to get our residents’ thoughts on our favourite furry duo.

One of our residents, Vera, said: “I love it when the dogs come to visit — they’re so friendly and really make me smile. I wish I could give them cuddles all day, but I have to remember that they have lots of people to see as they are working hard.”

Former dog owner, Pat, and a resident at our Mountside Care Home, added: “I’m always pleased to see Connie and Melly as they are such lovely dogs. I used to own a dog, and when it was a puppy, it chewed the arms off our garden bench! These dogs are very well behaved, though.” 

Mountside Image

Comments From Our Activities Coordinators

Discussing the benefits of having pet therapy dogs, our activities coordinator, Shelagh Hazleton, said: “I organise for the PAT dogs to visit the care home as it’s greatly beneficial to the residents. 

“They very much look forward to the dogs’ visits and I’ve noticed it significantly boosts their mood and overall wellbeing.

“Due to the success of Connie and Melly’s visits, we will continue to look into the benefits of animal therapy. Moving forward, we may introduce more animals into the care home, such as cats or rabbits, to see if this continues to have a positive impact on our residents’ mental and physical wellbeing.” 

Kimberley Mann, our fellow activities coordinator at Mountside Care Home, added: “The dogs definitely make a difference, as they improve the mood of the residents, reduce the risk of developing depression, and decrease feelings of anxiety.

“In particular, we’ve seen that our residents living with dementia greatly benefit from the PAT dog visits. It helps improve their emotional wellbeing and self-esteem whilst encouraging interaction with others.”

If you’re interested in finding out more about our pet therapy dogs, or the care we provide at ACI Mountside, please contact a member of our team.

Alternatively, why not read our previous blog to discover our compilation of fun activities in Hastings?

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