Animal friends join Buckshaw care home residents living with dementia

A specialist dementia care home has opened a pet therapy facility for residents. Phyllis Trimm is pictured with rabbit Tinkerbell and carer Kelly Wilson.
A specialist dementia care home has opened a pet therapy facility for residents. Phyllis Trimm is pictured with rabbit Tinkerbell and carer Kelly Wilson.
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Fluffy rabbits and cuddly guinea pigs are bringing delight to residents at a care home in Chorley.

Buckshaw Retirement Village, which specialises in caring for people living with dementia, has opened a pet area for its residents to enjoy.

Guinea pig Omelette

Guinea pig Omelette

Bosses at the home in Ambrose Avenue hope that the pet therapy facility will contribute to the care of its residents.

The Pet Shop, is now home to several pet rabbits, fish and guinea pigs.

Lisa Barnes, regional director, said: “This is a fantastic and popular activity which provides an enriching experience for our residents.

“Research has suggested that as well as companionship pets provide benefits including the ability to lower blood pressure, and heart rate, reduce stress and boost levels of serotonin - the feel-good hormone.

“We have noted that there is often a special connection between animals and people with dementia or Alzheimer’s.

“It is not uncommon to see someone transition from emotionless to joyful when a pet enters the room, especially if it triggers special memories.”

The Pet Shop was introduced to provide the residents with therapeutic engagement and interaction with the animals under the supervision of the carers at The Lodge.

Residents can pet, hold and feed the animals. Some residents are also involved in cleaning and maintaining the area.