Pet visits prove beneficial to residents

Did you know pet owners:

  • - Visit the doctors less often and use less medication
  • - On average, they have lower cholesterol and lower blood pressure
  • - Recover more quickly from illness and surgery and deal better with stress
  • - Are less likely to be lonely

Meet Enzo– a recent regular visitor to  Edenhope & District Memorial Hospital patients and residents.  Enzo, a standard poodle, enjoy’s coming into the facility with his owner Cassie Stringer.

Eight month old Enzo is a therapy dog and this is what he has been bred for.  Aside from visiting us, Enzo will also visit schools and will be trained later this year to spend time with autistic children. 

EDMH have a new Pets in Healthcare policy (which can be viewed on our website) which allows for pet visitation with patients and residents, in a controlled manner.

This policy came about as EDMH has, from time to time, received requests from families of  aged care resident or hospital patients to bring a family pet into the hospital, hostel or nursing home.

Research indicates that pet owners are healthier, less stressed, and happier. Unfortunately it is not possible for all residents in care facilities to own one. In this case, the best alternative is to organise a pet to visit residents regularly.

Cassie, who runs a dog grooming business Edenhope Pawfection, is a registered volunteer at the Hospital and regularly visits the residents in the Lakes Hostel and the Kowree Nursing Home.

“The residents get very excited to see him. To begin with some were a bit weary because he is big and vibrant but they find his softness and patting him very comforting.  They always comment about how he feels”

“It is wonderful to chat with the residents when Enzo visits, they love to reminisce about their own pets” said Cassie.

“I love to see residents faces light up and smile when Enzo and I come to visit.”

Research has revealed many benefits to pet therapy; some of which may include:

  • Decreased blood pressure and stress
  • Improved communication and reminiscence
  • Many people who are normally unresponsive to other therapies may ‘brighten up’ and ‘chat’ with a pet.
  • Pets may motivate and encourage the elderly to stay healthy and exercise, giving them a feeling of being ‘needed’.
  • Motor skills may improve with the assistance of an animal trained for pet therapy.
  • Pet visitation is known to improve patients wellbeing, by taking a holistic approach to their recovery

EDMH would like to see more people bring their pets in to visit on a regular basis, if you think your pet would enjoy visiting our residents please contact Debra Taylor 03 55859800 for more information. All visiting pets must be fully vaccinated, registered if required by local law, obedient, under owners control at all times and clean. Owners must also register as a volunteer.