Every month farm animals from foundation ‘de Swiffers Hoeve’ visit nursing home ‘t Huis aan de Poel’ in Amstelveen. The animals have a therapeutic effect on the elderly, who often suffer from loneliness or dementia. I joined the Swiffers Hoeve on two different visits.
“Some have really bonded with an animal, they can show affection and cuddle. Residents act more free around them. Some who don’t speak suddenly start conversations. In general it really lifts their spirits.” Says one of the supervisors.
The animals triggers feelings of love in them. And despite the fact that most residents suffer from dementia and, according to their supervisors, have already forgotten about the activity the next day, they notice that their mood remains good for a longer time.
One of the residents, nicknamed ‘auntie Rie’ (95) has a particularly strong bond with a rooster, called Kapoentje. Over and over she says: “He cuddles better than my husband.” While she hugs the rooster.
At the end of the session auntie Rie needs to be convinced to let go of her rooster. She’s crying. “I’m so happy to finally hold something.”
The article and photo’s got published at Het Parool (article in Dutch).