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Murphy the mule star of the show at aged care facilities

HEALING ANIMALS: Joe Howells pats miniature pony Oreo.
HEALING ANIMALS: Joe Howells pats miniature pony Oreo. Yvonne Gardiner

ANIMALS are thought to have a calming effect, to guard against depression and other mental health issues, and can often be seen in aged care facilities.

On St Patrick's Day, a variety of animals from the Gold Coast charity Harmony Hooves Healing Hearts met up with elderly clients from Liberty Community Connect at Nerang.

Murphy the mule, a pony, ducklings, goats, chickens and dogs were among the visitors.

 

HEALING ANIMALS: John Shepherd makes friends with a young goat.
HEALING ANIMALS: John Shepherd makes friends with a young goat. Yvonne Gardiner

Diversional therapist Katrina Vuori believes that animals provide an emotional link for Liberty's clients.

"Many elderly in the community have to give up their animals when they go into care and this can create a great deal of emotional trauma, so we have always found incorporating animals in our programs is greatly appreciated," she said.

"A part of our diversional therapy program is also that we provide cultural celebrations from all over the world.

"St Paddy's is a regular event because it is so well-known and we often have clients with Irish heritage.

"We celebrate cultural celebrations using music, food, language, humour, traditions and traditional dress."

 

HEALING ANIMALS: Harmony Hooves Healing Hearts assistant Donna Watts with Murphy the mule on St Patrick’s Day.
HEALING ANIMALS: Harmony Hooves Healing Hearts assistant Donna Watts with Murphy the mule on St Patrick’s Day. Yvonne Gardiner

Overall the event went very well, Katrina said, with lots of positive feedback.

Coming up on the Liberty Community Connect calendar is Carer Pamper Day on June 7, respite discovery tours on April 3, Wellness Week on April 18 and National Volunteers Week on May 8.

Inquiries to 5578 1668.

Topics:  general-seniors-news harmony hooves healing hearts liberty community connect pets and ageing retirement-living wellbeing


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