The Benefits of Animal Therapy: Welcoming Some Chirpy Guests

06 April, 2021  ·  Less than a minute read
The Benefits of Animal Therapy: Welcoming Some Chirpy Guests

Have you experienced the benefits of animal therapy? If so, you’ll understand exactly why our residents have been feeling a little chirpy this week!

 

To celebrate the arrival of spring, our care team in Surrey arranged for ready-to-hatch duckling and chick eggs to be delivered to our homes.

The benefits of animal therapy: unhatched eggs in incubator at Surrey Care Home
↑ Incredible Eggs in incubator at Surrey care home

Receiving a Special Delivery

The eggs, equipment, and expertise were sourced through Incredible Eggs - an experienced and responsible smallholding that provides ethical learning experiences. We’re truly grateful to the team for providing our residents with the opportunity to feel the benefits of animal therapy. 

 

All our residents were incredibly excited as they waited for the delivery of the eggs and were thrilled to be given the chance to experience nature so closely.

 

The eggs were set up in incubators, which were accompanied by signs to remind our residents to be careful around the table. They marked each day and monitored the progress closely; our residents even made predictions as to when the eggs might hatch! 

 

Our residents across our care homes enjoyed observing the eggs’ progress and watching the hatching process begin.

Baby chicks huddled together at Surrey care home
↑ Baby chicks huddled together at Surrey care home

Nurturing Our Newly Born Chicks

As the first ducklings and chicks made an appearance, our residents decided to name them. Heartwarmingly, they chose the names of their friends who have sadly passed away in our care homes over the past year. 

 

Since then, residents have been enjoying interacting with their fluffy friends, lavishing them with cuddles, teaching them to swim, and making sure they have plenty to eat and drink. 

 

One of our residents said: "The chicks are very sweet, and they make me smile a lot. It’s been lovely having them stay with us and to hear their happy chirps fill the home.”

 

Here are just a few ways pets can improve mental and physical health:

 

1. Animals Reduce Feelings of Loneliness

As well as providing ample learning opportunities, the arrival of the eggs has also given residents the chance to experience the benefits of animal therapy. Interactions with friendly pets can help reduce feelings of loneliness, stress, anxiety, and boredom, and can release endorphins leading to lifted spirits, overall reducing the effects of depression. 

Benefits of animal therapy: chicks huddled together Surrey care home
↑ Benefits of animal therapy: chicks huddled together in hutch

2. Improves Motor Skills 

Spending time with animals can also improve motor skills and joint movement by encouraging more activity, thus improving physical health too. Caring for an animal can also help unleash nurturing qualities and provide a sense of purpose - particularly for our elderly communities.

 

3. Animals Provide Opportunities For Interaction

Discussing the initiative, Shaleeza Hasham, our Head of Hospitality and Communications, said: "Research heavily suggests that animals can boost general health and well-being, especially as we age. Not only do they bring tremendous amounts of joy, but animals also open up channels for conversation whilst providing sensory stimulation and relaxation too. 

 

"We're hoping to incorporate more animal therapy into our offerings and working with Incredible Eggs on this project has been a fantastic place to start. Our residents and carers have loved every aspect, from the anticipation of waiting for the eggs to hatch to the excitement of welcoming the chicks and ducklings into the world. They've made everyone light up with joy. It's been beautiful to see, especially after the tough year we've all had.”

Benefits of animal therapy: chick in hatch in Surrey care home
↑ Benefits of animal therapy: chick in hatch in Surrey care home

The chicks and ducklings will now become permanent residents at our homes with the appropriate facilities for taking long-term care of them. For our homes that don’t have the suitable provisions for them, the chicks and ducklings will be returned to Incredible Eggs, where they will enjoy a first-rate quality of life in high-welfare facilities. 

Newborn chicks huddled together in incubator in Surrey care home
↑ Newborn chicks huddled together in incubator in Surrey care home

We love spreading joy amongst our residents! Read our previous blog to find out what happened when Margot had a very special visitor.

 

Alternatively, to find out more about our services, take a few minutes to browse our website, or contact a member of our team.

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