Pet as Therapy visiting Bernash

 In Residents Activities

Britain is considered a nation of animal lovers, so why should this be any different if we have to move into a care home? A dog’s silly antics and wagging tail or a cat purring on one’s lap can raise a smile, or relax anyone, regardless of age. So Bernash Care Home now offer residents the opportunity to interact with a variety of pets through Pets As Therapy (PAT). They are a national charity providing therapeutic animal visits to care homes. Volunteers bring in their friendly, temperament tested, vaccinated dogs and cats, to Bernash to bring joy, comfort and companionship to the residents.

Pets As Therapy has conducted a number of research studies into the benefits that pets bring to residents in a care home environment. Sarah Dyke’s study, Every Man’s Best Friend: Impact of pet therapy and previous dog ownership on enhancing well-being in elderly residents, demonstrated that Pets As Therapy (PAT) dogs can have a positive effect on mood in elderly residents in care homes.

Sarah wanted to find out if previous dog ownership predicted an increase in wellbeing following PAT dog visits. Her findings suggest that the benefits to the residents from the PAT dog visit are irrespective of previous dog ownership. Research on PAT dogs behavioural responses towards care staff and patients has interestingly discovered that the dogs spend the same amount of time encouraging interaction with residents and staff members, but remain for a longer proportion of time with residents when physical interaction ceases.

The residents at Bernash have really taken to Merlot & Belle and it’s a real joy when the come and visit the residents. The atmosphere becomes warm when Merlot and Belle are visiting and they are proving to become a real delight to have around the home.