Hi everyone, been a busy start to the month for us here but I’ve finally squeezed in a little computer time to work on our next blog post.
One of our services we offer is Animal Assisted Therapy, this is aimed at Care homes, therapy units, people with physical and mental disabilities. Our care home visits have been a huge success with some places planning to invite us back after the new year.
I love visiting the care homes, it’s a real honour to meet some of these people and hear some of their personal stories and It really is amazing to see people’s faces light up and the reactions they give when they spend a short time with the birds.
People most commonly associate dogs, cats and horses when they hear or speak of Animal Assisted Therapy (AAT), but other animals are being used more and more.
You can’t however pick any animal and just decide to use it for AAT, the animal’s wellbeing is extremely important and should never be compromised. Whatever animal you use must be fully trained and accustomed to the methods you will be using and surroundings they will be visiting.
We use Owls for our AAT visits. All our owls are imprinted from hatch and hand reared so are very much a part of the family, and are introduced to different sights and sounds almost immediately and get accustomed to people coming and going and getting up close to them. Once they are old enough we slowly use the same process out and about.
AAT is defined as a guided interaction between a trained animal and an individual or group. It is widely researched and documented with the majority of findings being highly positive. It has proved extremely beneficial to residents of elderly care homes and dementia patients. AAT works to reduce the loneliness or isolation sometimes felt by elderly residents, it encourages social interaction and emotional connections, am sure some of the activity co-ordinators we have seen in recent weeks will confirm that it is a stimulating and exciting activity for the residents and lifts their mood. It also works in reducing stress and anxiety and has also been proved to reduce the restlessness that can affect people with dementia.
AAT is also used to benefit people with depression, autism and substance abuse with reports showing Improved mood and communication skills and a reduction in stress
These sessions have been extremely popular in care homes; we have had bookings all over the north east and look forward too many more.
Darren & Clare
Darren and Clare
Husband and wife and owners of Speyside Falconry