Glasgow care staff bringing pet therapy to residents
It’s not every day you get to take your pet to work – particularly if it’s a Royal Python.
But that’s exactly what the staff at Loretto Care’s Fullarton Service in Glasgow’s Tollcross did.
And it was all to provide the 20 residents, who are recovering from alcohol-related brain damage, with the benefits of animal-assisted therapy.
Research has shown animal-assisted therapy can improve mood, lower blood pressure and increase physical activity.
Joining Buddy the Royal Python at the Fullarton animal therapy day were a number of other friendly animals including Freddy the pug, a pair of Hungarian Viszlas and a Labrador cross called Marley.
It’s the second animal therapy event the staff have held this summer.
Fullarton manager Marshal McDowall, who brought his Hungarian Viszlas ‘AnneCa’ and ‘Willow’, said: “Some residents are totally different when the dogs are around. One told me they prefer dogs to humans because they’re uncomplicated and give unconditional love. The impact these pet therapy days have is astonishing.”
Staff nurse Jane Cook said: “It’s easy to see the impact the animals are having on the people here at Fullarton.
“They’re all coming together, socialising, smiling and getting involved. We are gathering evidence showing how the animals are improving the quality of their lives.”
“Research has shown that having a pet improves your mood, keeps you active and makes you more sociable.”
The animal therapy events are proving so successful that two staff are now training in ‘Assisted Animal Intervention’ so they can share the benefits with other Loretto Care facilities.
Jane and support assistant Carlyn Kelly, who owns Buddy the Royal Python, start training in October. Their course in Animal Assisted Intervention will teach them the principles of animal assisted therapy, how to choose the right animal for the client and animal welfare.
Jane hopes her training will allow her to help residents pick a pet when they leave the Fullarton Service to live independently in their own home.