Celebrating the healing powers of animals
Enchanted forest event
You might already know that here at Birchwood House we host a number of exciting events and activities for our residents to enjoy. Our most recent event, themed around the enchanted forest, was really successful. The residents enjoyed the beautiful autumnal scenery and wildlife.
To add interaction to the event, we organised for a range of animals to join us, including hedgehogs, bunnies, frogs, snakes, and sheep. The animals charmed the residents whilst the keeper engaged all by holding talks on each animal, allowing us all to learn so many interesting facts.
Spending time with animals
Did you know that animals are incredibly beneficial to our mental health as humans? And spending time with animals is known to have a positive impact on older people too.
Animals can help reduce stress and lower blood pressure, as well as help to increase social interaction and physical activity. They can do this by adjusting hormone levels in the body. Petting an animal releases serotonin, the happy hormone, in the brain. This, in turn, lowers blood pressure and encourages positivity.
Studies have shown that pet owners are less likely to suffer from depression than those without pets. Pets have also been shown to reduce stress and aggressive behaviour in Alzheimer’s and dementia patients.
As much as we’d love to have pets at Birchwood House, it’s not practical or suitable for all of our residents. Therefore, events like our autumn enchanted forest gathering gives our residents a chance to enjoy the benefits of being in the presence of animals. Visits from an animal can be a wonderful and energising experience and definitely an exciting part of a person’s day and so we want to ensure animals continue to play a part in enriching the lives of our residents. Animals have featured in a number of Birchwood House events – you might remember seeing the lovely visiting horse during our medieval-themed event.