Four-legged friends provide companionship to elderly residents
AN Edinburgh home specialising in dementia care has launched a pet therapy programme to combat loneliness and improve general wellbeing.
A group of three different therapets and their handlers have been visiting Cramond Residence each on a monthly basis to provide companionship and encourage residents to be more active throughout the day.
Elaine Vallance, Lead Lifestyle Coordinator at Cramond Residence, said: “Our residents thoroughly enjoy therapets’ visits and we always know when they are in the building as residents all have a big smile on their faces.
“They all offer a calming presence when in the building, their visits always leave everyone in high spirits, excited for the next visit – the simple act of stroking a four-legged friend can slow down the heartbeat and reduce blood pressure.
“Pet therapy can provide a calming effect and help alleviate feelings of loneliness and isolation.
Our visiting therapets are among the 500 registered therapets around Scotland, currently providing emotional support to elderly residents who cannot maintain the upkeep of a pet full-time. ”
According to Alzheimer’s Society, caring for an animal can provide a sense of purpose and be a helpful stress relief source to individuals with dementia who may be struggling with depression.
The furry friends visiting the home have proved major hits alongside the varied activities programme at Cramond Residence which includes day trips, gardening and arts and crafts, all designed to keep residents stimulated and engaged.