Being around animals makes most of us happy and life is no different in aged care – that’s why Regis has always welcomed friendly animals into our homes to improve residents’ health and well-being. Studies have highlighted the physical and mental benefits pets provide – improving social, emotional and cognitive functioning. Specific benefits include fewer visits to the doctor, lower cholesterol and blood pressure, and dealing with stressful situations better.
Our Pet Therapy program sees a plethora of animals visiting homes. From trained therapy dogs to friendly house cats, these lovable visitors are adored by our residents and help encourage communication and create a sense of community. Here are some wonderful stories from our Regis homes:
Regis Tiwi is visited by trained therapy dogs each month to help improve the social, emotional, or cognitive functioning of residents. In collaboration with Mind your Paws, ‘Roxy’ and her professional trainer Kristy visit the home and interact with residents. Humans are capable of fostering meaningful and rewarding relationships with animals and it’s incredible to see the positive outcomes from these connections.
We want our residents to share their lives and past companions with us. The team at Regis Tiwi understand this and how important these interactions are. The home regularly receives warm remarks about these encounters.
“It reminds me of my dog and I love to reminisce about him”
“I Love to see them and always look forward to dog therapy each month”
These activities have now been running for over 2 years at Regis Tiwi and it’s incredible to see the residents continue to feel the warmth they provide.
Beautiful memories were created at Regis Hornsby as residents were visited by Bullseye – the stunning Shetland. Bullseye and his handler Kara spent a few hours visiting residents and providing support in their rooms. These connections between people and horses are invaluable – bringing joy and comfort to residents.
Norah said to her family afterward that she was so happy after meeting Bullseye that she felt like crying. Other residents reminisced about being milkmen with a horse and cart, about their time on the farm growing up, and another about his grandfather mustering cattle.
Leigh spent an afternoon with Pet Therapy dog, Xero. These interactions at Regis Macleod lift resident’s spirits and provide exceptional social and emotional support. The encounters give residents the freedom to pat and play with the dogs as much as they like, something which is so special to many people.
In addition to our Pet Therapy program, some homes have animals living side-by-side with residents. Eddie prowls around Regis Shenley Manor, delighting residents and families as she goes about her business. Eddie’s been living at the home for over a year now, which has had an extremely positive impact on residents. She helps ease stress, gives comfort to those who need it, and gives love unconditionally. Some residents don’t often receive visitors, so it’s extra special to have a companion living with them who they can interact and bond with regularly.
What’s even more extraordinary is that Eddie was hand-selected from a local shelter by one of the residents who was missing her beloved cat. We believe in going the extra mile to help our residents feel at home. Now, you can find Eddie walking the corridors, greeting residents, and even cosying up on their beds some nights.
The newest addition to the Regis Blackburn family always brings a smile to residents. Kitty enjoys her afternoons with Jenny and Darryl, bringing them comfort and delight. These visits are benefit to all and are an incredibly important part of people’s lives. Kitty helps promote activities such as walking and caring for animals and has proved vital in lifting the mood and sparking new conversations between residents.
Find out more about our aged care lifestyle PIEC&S Program at your local Regis facility by browsing all Regis aged care facilities.