Blue Care Kingscliff and Friends of the Pound
“Pets help older people especially those who are suffering from dementia adjust to their new surrounds. In the case of the first cat-owning resident supported by this program, the lady cried continually, would not sleep or eat but this all changed when we gave her the cat back as it had been surrendered to us by the family. Her life in care took on another meaning, other residents would call on her to look at the cat and she even started taking bus trips,” said Sonia Trichter, Friends of the Pound.
Bernadette Lee, Integrated Service Manager at Blue Care Kingscliff Aged Care Facility, would like to see other providers offering similar programs to support residents with pets.
“It’s a really good model, it’s easy and it does work. We’ve had people from as far away as Cairns wanting to come here because we take pets,” said Ms Lee.
“We see the benefits in the quality of life for the pet owner as they settle easily into the new environment and quickly become engaged with other residents and staff as they introduce their pet.
“We also see the benefits spread beyond the pet’s owner to other residents and also staff. It’s a relaxing and happy moment in time when you stop to pat or cuddle a pet.”