Did you know that animals have been involved in therapeutic caring roles since the 1700s? More recently, having dogs visit people in nursing homes has been shown to decrease levels of agitation and increase social behavior. Indeed, a review of the small number of research studies on the subject found animal-based therapies have a positive effect on communication and coping ability.
The full article can be found at The Conversation
We asked guest blogger Wendy Robinson to tell us about her experiences volunteering with Caring Canines;
Since retiring I have taken on several voluntary roles through different organisations in a caring capacity. I started out mainly to keep myself occupied on a regular basis but get so much enjoyment now I wonder why I didn’t involve myself earlier!
My Caring Canines role visiting Riverside Court day centre came about having seen an advertisement in the local paper looking for volunteers with their four-legged friends. Thinking this would be ideal as an activity for me and Megan I applied and Megan duly passed the “test” to become a Caring Canine.
The best bit of this role is arriving with Megan and seeing the clients faces light up as they all call her over to give her lots of fuss and the inevitable treat! Megan is usually the centre of attention for a while and then when she settles down for a dose I love to help with the morning’s activities. This week they involved a recognition game, patting a balloon around the group using hands or feet and a great sing song. During the singing I was next to a gentleman who hasn’t been coming to the centre very long and I haven’t spoken to him at length before because unfortunately he is the only one in the group who is not keen on dogs! After a sterling rendition of “I’m forever blowing bubbles” we touched on the subject of football and he told me he has always been a Notts Forest supporter and we discussed their recent match that we’d both watched on TV. He was really happy talking football and I was thrilled that I’d got him smiling and animated about a subject he loves. I will keep trying to bring him round to liking dogs!
You can find out more about Caring Canines and their work by visiting http://www.caringk9s.webeden.co.uk/
Special thank you to Wendy Robinson, our first guest blogger. If you would like to feature on our blog leave your details below