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How Animal Therapy Can Help Care Home Residents

Animal therapy can be really beneficial for residents of private care homes and nursing homes, giving them an interest and something to focus on. There are many different ways that animals can be introduced into residential homes or, in the case of larger animals, residents can be taken out to visit them in the local community.

Some care homes in West Sussex allow people to bring their pets with them when they move into the home, which can be a great comfort. However, this is not always possible, and a greater number of care home residents can benefit from special schemes to introduce animals to care homes, schools and nurseries.

animal therapy

Incredible Eggs

One such scheme is run by Incredible Eggs. This organisation donates incubated duck eggs which then hatch into ducklings. One care home that benefited from this scheme was Appletree Court Care Home in Edgeware. The home received five eggs that hatched within a few days, giving residents the therapeutic experience of being able to care for the eggs, watch the hatching and observe the subsequent development of the ducklings.

Pets as Therapy

Among other activities, this national charity organises visits to residential care homes and hospitals from dogs and cats that have been assessed as temperamentally suitable for therapeutic visits and their volunteer owners. Residents of care homes in Surrey, care homes in West Sussex and care homes throughout the UK can benefit from regular visits and look forward to interacting with these pets.


Some care homes are able to arrange visits for their residents to meet animals. One example of this was a visit by residents of a home in Thornton to a riding school where they were able to meet the horses and tour the stables as well as watch them work with their trainers. Farms and farm parks can also be a good place for visits by care home residents, as they are able to see many different animals, sometimes with the opportunity of feeding them or watching displays.

Even residents who are unable to go out on visits can benefit from schemes in which animals are brought into the home. Baby goats were brought into one care home, and residents were able to hold and stroke them, which they really enjoyed. People with dementia often respond very positively to visits from animals.

Many different animals can be used as therapy for care home residents, so whether it is caring for chickens and collecting eggs in one home or simply being visited by a dog they can stroke in another, the benefits are enormous.

For many people who used to have regular contact with animals and have missed this since moving into the home, having contact with animals again can make a real difference to their lives.

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