Lowering blood pressure and easing depression and pain with the help of cute kittens

A care home is using kittens to lift the mood of residents, stimulate social interaction and ease agitation.

Friday, 26th April 2019, 1:26 pm
Updated Friday, 26th April 2019, 1:28 pm
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Bowes House Hailsham has found an innovative way to care for older people – with the help of furry friends and it is said to be working wonders for people with dementia.

The team at Care UK’s Bowes House, on Battle Road, invited local organisation, Petpals, to lead a show and tell workshop with residents and a host of adorable kittens.

The visit is part of a broader initiative to implement regular animal therapy at the care home and residents have already been visited by a variety of animals, including mini-ponies and giant snails.

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During the sessions, residents are provided with interesting facts on each of the animals, while also being able to handle and stroke the friendly creatures.

The initiative is already having a very positive effect on everyone, especially those living with dementia, so the home has set up monthly visits.

Helena Barrow, home manger, said, “As part of our activity-based care approach, we are always looking to plan exciting activities for residents.

“Our birdwatch activity earlier this year proved that residents had a keen interest in nature and wildlife, so we decided to invite Petpals along to provide regular animal therapy sessions for the residents.

“It proved to be a real success, and the results so far are beyond our expectations. Being close to kittens can help lift a person’s mood, stimulate social interaction and ease agitation.

“You could see from residents’ reactions just how engaged and fascinated they were by the chance to get so close to such a variety of furry friends.”

Petpals Therapy said, “Animals have been used for therapy since the late 18th Century and research has shown that stress reduction can occur after as little as five minutes of interaction with an animal.

“When brought into an environment where people are limited physically and mentally, animal assisted activity delivers both therapy and entertainment.”

It is said to help to lower the heart rate and blood pressure as well as elevating the mood, easing depression, improving relaxation, reducing physical pain, easing emotional pain and reducing anxiety.