Pat A Pet – Guinea Pigs Prescribed As Therapy!
It may not sound like news to those who follow this blog regularly but guinea pigs are great therapy.
The reason whee are discussing this now is thanks to a lovely story in The Guardian about Why GP’s are prescribing animal handling sessions for older people.
Barbara, 69, is moved to tears by Baxter the demure guinea pig snuffling in her lap. With her fingers in his fur, she tells the other nursing home residents how she misses her four dogs – Dobermans and Rotweilers. But stroking Baxter is a good substitute. “It feels nice,” she says. “I’m happy.”
At Hawthorn Green nursing home in Tower Hamlets, London, where most residents have dementia, 14 over-60s are petting animals and reminiscing, courtesy of community project Furry Tales. Based at nearby Stepney City Farm, Furry Tales offers therapeutic animal handling sessions to local care homes in the fight against social isolation in vulnerable older people.
The team – comprising two guinea pigs, rabbits Harvey and Splodge, a Pekin Bantam hen, volunteers and manager – has just won a £9,120 innovation bursary from Tower Hamlets clinical commissioning group to run a six-month pilot where GPs refer patients to the scheme.
This pilot scheme reminds us of the sadly passed away, world renowned guinea pig expert Peter Gurney (pictured right) and his work with Great Ormond Street Hospital. He took five of his guinea pigs in to spend time with the terminally ill children there.
You may or may not know but Mummy used to be quite unwell when she got her first two guinea pigs Nibbles and Nugget. She always says that without them she wouldn’t be half as confident as she is now. Taming them and gaining their trust was a great way for Mummy to take her mind off how ill she was and in some of her darkest times she had piggy cuddles to get her through them.
Of course this isn’t limited to just guinea pigs. Whee know of dogs and cats who are used as therapy animals and even live near a riding school for disabled children.
This is why whee are squeaking to Mummy about us getting involved in a scheme like this.
Me and Basil would be most likely to be part of it as whee are both furry confident and good at snuggling. Though Basil can be a little badly behaved sometimes he always knows when somefurry is ill and it more gentle.
Noah is far too naughty and Nacho is too shy so it is furry much about pigsonalities being matched to this.
Do you know of a scheme like this near you? If you’re involved in anything similar do you have any tips about how to get involved?
Have a great day efurryone
Posted on October 8, 2014, in Piggy Blogs and tagged cavies, cavy, cute, guinea pig, guinea pig blog, guinea pig blogger, guinea pig therapy, guinea pigs, pet, pet blog, pet blogger, peter gurney, peter gurney great ormond street hospital, pets, pets as therapy. Bookmark the permalink. 33 Comments.