Calvià 11th November 2019
THE SENIOR CITIZENS HOME OF CALVIÀ INCORPORATES A THERAPY WITH DOGS TO ENHANCE THE PHYSICAL AND MENTAL DEVELOPMENT OF ITS USERS
The 'Llar de Calvià' canine therapy, which is subsidised by Obra Social "la Caixa", provides numerous benefits for the elderly, apart from the joy, enthusiasm and desire to see the dogs and interact with them
The 'Llar de Calvià' has started to use a therapy with dogs to enhance the physical and mental development of the senior citizens home of the municipality residents. Animal-assisted therapy uses the person-animal bond as an integral part of the treatment process, since its purpose, in addition to guaranteeing a pleasant time and providing well-being to senior citizens, is to go further by working on the numerous benefits that this therapy can provide, apart from the joy, enthusiasm and desire to see them and interact with them.
Amongst these benefits is the improvement of self-esteem, since dogs show affection regardless of the age or health of the person, so they help alleviate the feeling of loneliness. It also manages to arouse the interest of the elderly through the movements and games of the dog, and this leads to improvements in the people's mood while stimulating the mind through the use of the senses (sight, hearing, touch ...).
Dog therapy also activates memory, since these contacts with pets can bring back memories of old times; and encourages physical activity, being contact with a dog an opportunity to play and develop the physical skills of the elderly while having a fun time.
It usually begins with a first approach or contact between the dog and the elderly, in which, many times, the elderly remember owning a dog or companion animal in the past and explain it or mention it. This fact is important as it activates the feeling of affection and well-being, forgetting the ailments and negative thoughts.
In the 'Llar', sessions are held weekly in two groups: one for most assisted people and one for more autonomous people. The groups of people rotate from week to week so that more people can participate. The dog that participates in the therapy is called Samba, and is a 2-year-old Golden Retriever.
The therapy dog is an animal specifically trained to integrate into a therapeutic or educational programme. Breeds such as the Golden Retriever or the Labrador are the most used for their particular character. As a general rule they are patient dogs, grateful, easy to teach as they have a good predisposition to learn, as well as they are intelligent and affectionate. The dogs that are used in the therapies are chosen through a specific selection, and they are healthy, safe and trained to carry out these types of activities. They have an appropriate constitution and age, and have the appropriate skills and abilities to make their participation beneficial.
Therapy with dogs in the 'Llar de Calvià' is subsidised by Obra Social "la Caixa", which has delivered a cheque to the Town Hall. The cheque-delivery event was attended by the mayor of Calvià, Alfonso Rodríguez Badal, the deputy mayor of Cohesion and Social Welfare, Nati Francés, the councillor for the elderly, Mari Carmen Rojano, the manageress of the Llar, María del Carmen Pérez; and on behalf of Obra Social “la Caixa”, the director of institutions of the Balearic Islands, Silvio Sarralde, has delivered the cheque.