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Petting zoo therapy at SummitCare St Marys

A Western Sydney aged care facility is using pet therapy at their nursing home as a way to brighten their residents day.

Resident from SummitCare St Marys, Janet, holding a large rabbit from the petting zoo that visited the nursing home. [Source: SummitCare St Marys.
Resident from SummitCare St Marys, Janet, holding a large rabbit from the petting zoo that visited the nursing home. [Source: SummitCare St Marys.

Providing snuggly cuddles to residents at SummitCare St Marys, NSW, was a host of rabbits, goats, lambs, calves, little chicks and more during a recent petting zoo event.

Residents and family members were able to get up close and personal with a multitude of farm animals last week, creating a positive and joyful atmosphere among attendees.

SummitCare St Marys General Manager Mohini Narayan says that the experience was a fantastic way to implement pet therapy among their residents, which has been known to reduce feelings of hopelessness.

Ms Narayan says, “The magical bond between humans and animals has existed for years here at SummitCare. Animals have played an integral part in our residents' lives.

“Communication between humans and animals occurs on a deeper, more primitive level than the spoken word.   

“We observed our residents' faces brighten up when they interact with the animals. Pet therapy reduces feelings of hopelessness, boosts their activity levels and can also assist in physical, emotional and cognitive support."

One of the residents at the nursing home, Janet, thoroughly enjoyed her experience, including holding and petting a huge rabbit from the petting zoo, Kindifarm.

Daughter of Janet, Denise, said "It was so special, for all the residents. They all just lit up, just looking at their faces, they were all so happy. There were calves, sheep... It was just such an amazing day for everyone involved. Really special!"

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