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Animal Therapy for the Elderly

Animal Therapy for the Elderly

Animal therapy activities for the elderly

Benefits

What are the benefits of animal therapy activities for the elderly in aged care? A common question many people ask is, “Can anything be done to improve my loved one’s memory besides medication?” Happily, the answer to that question is yes!

Firstly, using the brain for activities that require concentration, sequencing, memory and coordination. Furthermore, research studies have found residents with dementia may have a slower decline in memory loss thereafter. Also, increased communication and socialisation for up to three days after the activity is completed. Additionally, researchers note a general improvement for the elderly in quality of life!

Furthermore, it is clear that looking at images of animals makes people feel happy and improves mood! Therefore, it can only be beneficial for our elderly loved ones too. Additionally it may even have some other health benefits such as lowering blood pressure!. That is why we have decided to combine these benefits. We have created animal based activities for our residents to enjoy.

Outline of activities

Here at Gold Age we have included a range of enjoyable activities that encourage thinking, concentration and memory. We get everyone together in small social settings of 4-6 people and share these activities together.

Firstly, butterfly painting. This is a way of expressing creativity through colour and imagination. Furthermore, this activity can be done in groups to promote communication and socialisation. Once completed, the beautiful butterflies can be placed around Gold Age for everyone’s enjoyment!

Secondly, creating bird feeders. This is another activity which has been included in our programme at Gold Age! What better way to get our residents relaxing outside enjoying the sunshine and the tweeting of birds! We hope the feeders will encourage more birds to fly into our Gardens for our residents to enjoy!

Next, who doesn’t love the texture of fluffy coloured cotton balls? So, here at Gold Age we have made soft and furry patterned caterpillars for sorting! These ‘caterpillars’ are attached to pegs. Therefore they can also be used to clip onto string or paper to get the fingers and hands moving! Also, the soft feel of the caterpillar has an added benefit for some of our residents; they decrease feelings of anxiety and agitation!

Finally, here at Gold Age we now offer animal lacing activities for our residents who are up for the challenge! Although this activity may not be suitable for all, it helps to get the blood flowing in their hands. Furthermore, it improves memory and concentration!

How can you be involved?

So why not come down, join in the fun and get your hands busy. What’s more, it’s a great opportunity to spend quality time with your elderly loved one! Or you can speak to lifestyle staff at your facility about how you can get involved. Perhaps by bringing in an activity that is meaningful to your elderly loved one.

This blog is intended to provide helpful advice. Please speak with your family GP for personalised information or, for specialist advice & support in Melbourne Australia, contact GOLD AGE AUSTRALIA on enquiries@goldage.com.au / 1800 GOLDAGE (1800 465 324) / Overseas Callers call +61 (03) 9836 9507

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