St Annes’s in Whitley Bay have weekly visits from ‘Pets As Therapy’ (PAT). Every Monday residents welcome the volunteers from this charity which was founded in 1983. The dogs the volunteers bring along are their very own pets, friendly, temperament tested and vaccinated.
Pet therapy is a way to help people with Alzheimer’s and dementia. Being in the presence of animals can provide companionship and also reduces anxiety and depression, which are symptoms Alzheimer and dementia sufferers will be feeling. Research has shown having pets around us can lower blood pressure and heart rate, reducing stress and boosting the feel good factor. The mood of a dementia patient can quickly change from being emotionless and lifeless to a state of happiness and joy when a pet enters the room, this can be due to many reasons, one of which may be the pet has triggered happy memories. This is why we have regular visits from groups offering pet therapy, you can see below, residents feeling happy and relaxed in the company of the lovely dog that was brought along to see them.