SMILE BEAM: Oakey Hospital resident Sally Keding nurses a baby goat at the recent animal blessing day.
SMILE BEAM: Oakey Hospital resident Sally Keding nurses a baby goat at the recent animal blessing day.

Furry bundles of joy for Oakey Hospital

OLD MACDONALD'S Travelling Farm called into Oakey Hospital in October for the facility's animal blessing day, held in honour of the patron saint of animals and ecology St Francis of Assisi.

The visit was a wonderful opportunity to bring enjoyment to the hospital's older residents and for them to reminisce, as many are retired farmers.

Beaming smiles were the order of the day with residents, patients and staff taking turns to hold and feed the animals including lambs, goats, chickens and ducks.

Acting Director of Nursing Michelle Crawford also brought her horse Invincible along on the day for residents to pat and reflect on their time in the saddle.

Seeing Invincible struck a chord with one resident, in particular, who proudly stated he had never been "dumped off".

According to Ms Crawford, "Animal interaction, also known as pet therapy, is known to produce many benefits for aged care residents, including lower blood pressure, improved mood and improved communication."

Pastoral care worker and volunteer Lesley Hughes pronounced a blessing on the animals and thanked them for the joy they brought to everyone.

The morning concluded with a barbecue lunch under the trees.


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