Care home residents enjoyed a 'purrfect' afternoon in the company of cats, Baby and Lillibet, during a pet therapy session. The visit to Olivemede Care Home in Yaxley was arranged by Katie Frankum, the care coordinator at South Peterborough Primary Care Network.
'I have a special interest in psychology and wellbeing. So, whilst doing the ward rounds I discussed potential activities for residents to help stimulate them to improve their wellbeing. We started with pet therapy and wow, what a huge success! The response from the residents was amazing.'
Katie continued to say:
'The cats absolutely loved it. They are both under the age of one and took it all in their stride. Super fussy and loving towards the residents, they loved being stroked and were very happy to curl up in residents' laps. It also had a positive effect on the carers which was lovely. We are planning to repeat sessions at least once a month at Olivemede and introduce pet therapy at another local care home.'
Olivemede's manager, Julie Lee, said:
'The residents really enjoyed it. When I finished work at 10pm that night some residents were still talking about the visit, it was great!'
Pet therapist Karen Schalbetter said:
'These sessions really help the elderly. To be able to touch, feel and see a loving cat brings back so many happy memories for them. It never ceases to amaze me how a dementia resident can literally come alive again from the experience of pet therapy.'