Care Community stories

4 reasons why animals are important in aged care

13th May 2021 | 3 min

Most pet owners will agree that animal interaction can improve physical, mental and social wellbeing. Many of our Opal HealthCare Care Communities regularly welcome animal visitors to spend quality time with our residents. So why are animals so effective in residential aged care?

  1. Animals provide companionship
    Many residents are no longer able to care for their own pets so visiting pets often fill the gap by providing the companionship that they miss, which can also reduce feelings of loneliness

  2. Animals provide comfort
    The act of cuddling and hugging animals can be soothing for residents, helping to reduce stress and anxiety and combat feelings of depression

  3. Animals can prompt treasured memories
    Interaction with certain types of animals often reminds residents of pets they owned growing up, this is particularly beneficial for our residents who are living with dementia

  4. Animals can improve overall health
    By encouraging positive emotions, social interaction and increased mental and physical activity levels, overall health and wellbeing can improve

Springwood Terrace Care Community is a wonderful example of what animals can do for people living in aged care. Several residents at Springwood Terrace have farming backgrounds and were thrilled to receive a visit from Old MacDonald’s Farm. With sheer delight, our residents interacted with the chickens, ducks, pigs and Pluto the adorable alpaca pictured below.


The baby goats were the crowd favourite, with residents bottle feeding and cuddling the kids until they fell asleep on their laps. Deborah, our Lifestyle Coordinator at our Care Community, described the smiles and expressions of our residents’ faces as “priceless.”

These types of visits not only take residents back to their cherished days on the farm, they provide excellent conversation as residents talk with team members and one another about the various animals they have owned and their experiences with animals in their younger years.

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