Milperra overnight respite cottage in Mount Helena has always had a homely feel to it. Anyone who has visited will vouch for that, and they will also tell you how much we love our animals – stuffed dogs, animated cats, chickens, and visiting dogs are found all around the house (well… not the chickens, they live outside!). But this isn’t just because we’re a team of animal lovers (although we are), it’s because pet therapy has proven psychological and physiological benefits.
Did you know, research has found people who have pets or interact with pets, are generally healthier compared with non-pet owners. Pets also have fantastic effects on people with dementia. They can be soothing and can help a person with dementia communicate, speak, and articulate themselves better when they are feeling comfortable. There is evidence to suggest pet therapy can make a person with dementia re-engage with what is happening around them.
So, it’s no surprise I found support worker Julie Lane’s idea of a resident bird to be an excellent suggestion. So… meet Bud the Budgie. He’s a beautiful little boy that we bought as a baby so that we could hand tame him. One week was all it took. Bud was so eager to meet the guests, he was an instant hit as you can see from the photos.
Bud brings a sense of calm; you can see the effect on guests immediately. Our little pet corner is used often now. Not only does Bud lift the mood but he stimulates conversation, aids reminiscing and engages clients with his birdy conversations.
Bud is our little wonder boy.
If you would like further information on pets and seniors click here