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Nell & Rufus Drop in to Meet Day Visitors at Age UK Darlington and North Yorkshire

PETS MAG’S Nell, 16, and Rufus, 5, popped into Age UK Darlington and North Yorkshire recently to meet day some of the older people who came in for the day to take part in communal activities and enjoy a delicious lunch.

The Pets Mag pups didn’t get any food, sadly, but enjoyed some lovely treats, and had a very warm welcome from both staff and visitors!

Age UK’s Darlington centre houses a cafe where day visitors can enjoy reasonably priced home cooked meals including pork chops, mash and veg and mince and dumplings and sticky toffee pudding and chocolate sponge and custard. The delicious meals can also be ordered and taken straight to the door step as part of the charity’s ‘Meals at Home’ service.

Nell and Rufus were unofficial ‘pet therapy’ canines for the visit and enjoyed every moment. The centre has played host to many other therapy animals over the years, and visitors have enjoyed welcoming new furry friends while socialising with other people.

Pets, particularly dogs and cats, can have enormous therapeutic benefits for older people, particularly those living alone. They have been proven to improve stress and anxiety levels and to provide comfort. Petting an animal releases serotonin, the happy hormone, in the brain. This, in turn, lowers blood pressure and brings positivity. Pets can also reduce stress in Alzheimer’s and dementia patients, and help unlock positive memories of having pets themselves.

Alzheimers.net has stated: “While companionship is an obvious benefit, a well-timed pet visit may also help with anxiety and depression. It’s not uncommon to watch someone transition from emotionless to joyful when a pet enters the room, especially if it triggers pleasant memories.”

“Pets, particularly dogs and cats, can have enormous therapeutic benefits for older people, particularly those living alone.”

Age UK Darlington and North Yorkshire is a nationally registered charity and one of 150 locally based Age UK organisations providing a variety of services to older people aged 50 plus.

Whether it’s through recreational activities, expert information and advice, befriending services or just being somewhere to turn when things get too tough to cope with alone, Age UK Darlington and North Yorkshire provides crucial companionship, advice and support to thousands of people every year.