Wythenshawe Hospital Charity

Providing pet therapy to patients with dementia – Precious Petzz project

Patients that suffer from cognitive impairment, including dementia or delirium, can find hospital a very frightening, stressful place.

The presence of pets has been proven to calm and soothe these patients, but as it isn’t practical for hospital wards to have animals on them, we’ want to eve equipped quip our dementia Team at Wythenshawe Hospital with Precious Petzz – realistic toy pets that can be given to stressed or confused patients with dementia. The fur is soft to touch and the repetition of movement when stroking the pet provides a soothing effect, helping patients to relax, providing stimulation and a connection to past memories. The use of these pets can also encourage staff to participate in meaningful activity with the patient, leading to greater self-esteem, dignity, and awareness.

Isma Ahmed, who is an Activity Co-ordinator at Wythenshawe Hospital and supports patients with dementia, said: “It has been so enjoyable for the patients who seem to be much more relaxed with having the pet around them. I feel the pet has really made a difference to the quality of [the patient’s] experience; not only is it a talking point for staff passing by to stop and ask the patient about the pet and make conversation, but also the patient feels comfortable talking about the pet with staff.”

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