Animal Assisted Therapy
The Animal Assisted Therapy (AAT) program is a collaboration between our Foundation and the Paediatric Rehabilitation Department at the Hospital. This program has become another ‘tool’ that the Paediatric Rehabilitation Department staff can access as part of the rehabilitation program for children currently receiving treatment at the Hospital.
Hospital staff are now working with the Delta Society to deliver the AAT program at your Hospital. Delta Therapy Dogs is a heart-warming program that brings the joys of animal companionship to those who need it most.
There are currently two highly trained dogs (Harper and Teddy) and their handlers (Andrea and Gillian) helping to deliver this exciting new initiative in the Hospital.
Delta’s amazing and devoted volunteer Therapy Dog Teams brighten the lives of an estimated 20,000 Australians in hospitals and care facilities every week.
The dogs and handlers are accredited through the Delta Society and are fully trained to work in a hospital setting. They undertake special veterinary checks to ensure they meet high infection control standards.
Why Animal Assisted Therapy?
There is overwhelming evidence to support the physiological benefits such as reduction in blood pressure and heart rate; psychological benefits such as the reduction of stress and anxiety; social benefits such as the enhancement of communication and social interaction, when patients participate in Animal Assisted Therapy.
These are particularly important in the acute setting when children and their families are dealing with the stress and anxiety or illness and injury, as well as the unfamiliar and intimidating environment of a hospital, an experience that can be especially daunting for young patients at your Hospital.
In Animal Assisted Therapy, Harper and Teddy work alongside the experienced Hospital therapist(s) to enhance the child’s motivation to achieve therapy goals.
Help us keep this program going and rehabilitating more young bodies and minds!