Animal mediation in La Perxa, a non-pharmacological solution for the sick

Seiko and Jean-Yves. (© Le Perche)

Amelie Barraud is neuropsychologist and responsible for day care a Amaelles (ex-UNA) in Perx i fa animal mediation with his Gos Seikopet of Amaelles Orne, at the day reception of Bazoches-sur-Hoene, Belleme, Longny-au-Perche i Theil-sur-Huisne (Orne).

“It was the former director of Amaelles who offered me to do animal mediation, I had never had a dog,” says Amélie Barraud. “I graduated from the French Institute of Zootherapy in Velanne, Isère, and obtained my diploma in zootherapy. »

If we often think of golden retrievers for mediation animals, Amélie Barraud preferred to choose rabbitkoira : “I didn’t need a dog that was too big for me to climb on the table, I liked huskies and in the same genre we have the Finnish Lapland dog.”

He started with Hanoi ten years ago, he died a few months ago. The neuropsychologist puts her dog available for the elderly.

When he started with Hanoi, he quickly realized that it was necessary to grab a second smaller dog: “So that the residents could carry him on their lap, as soon as Hanoi grew up, it was difficult.” Jack, a Spitz, came to complete the small family.

“My first dog, Hanoi, was getting old, so I decided to take Seiko, who came three months old, we were three months with three dogs and then Hanoi died,” says Amélie Barraud.

Empower residents

Sheikh comes from breeding Jerry Black Estate and arrived in January at Perx Day Centers. His name was chosen with the help of neighbors.

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“Everyone came up with an idea, we also posted on UNA Orne’s Facebook page for subscribers to help us,” adds Amélie Barraud. “Dogs don’t interest everyone, but their presence in day care centers works well.”

“Seiko has been with me for two months, she’s not perfect yet, but she’s coming,” says Amélie Barraud. “We do mediation exercises, the residents have to be actors, for example they brush the animal that reminds them how to take care of someone, we empower them and they feel valued.”

Cats can come

On March 30, 2022, Seiko went to the day center in Bellême, where eight residents meet every day with of the AMP (medical and psychological help). The day always starts with a little coffee, everyone listens to the others.

It is the MPAs that pick up their neighbors in the morning and return them in the evening. Then there is the reading of the local newspaper and then come the activities with Seiko. Jean-Yves and Pieter have it he brushed the dogwhile Odette and Mauricette preferred grab the cat in your armsTokyo, came with Amélie Barraud.

Tokyo, the cat, is in Odette's arms.
Tokyo, the cat, is in Odette’s arms. (© Le Perche)

“We work on old memory and dexterity with the bristles of the brush,” says the neuropsychologist. “Seiko means success that brings success, merit, it is also a brand, which allows you to connect with residents of other brands.”

The same thing happened with his old dog Hanoi, which is the name of the capital of Vietnam, which reminds us of other capitals.

An animal does not judge

“The advantage of animals is that they contribute a lot, they do not judge, they understand, they are delicate and kind to the residents, some do not care, but others allow them to lower their aggression,” he said. Amélie Barraud. “I remember a lady who no longer spoke, but with my dog ​​Hanoi, yes. »

“With the residents, things are going well, everyone has had animals,” says Carole, AMP. “Watching Seiko plays with people’s behavior, some become softer, relieve tensions, we see.”

Seiko can come as visiting dogshe lies on his side and takes a nap or is there therapeutic activities with residents. The elderly work with him, the domathe toiletwhich allows you to remember your own routine, shower, brush your teeth, etc.

Seiko is brushed by Pieter, who is very fond of dogs.
Seiko is brushed by Pieter, who is very fond of dogs. (© Le Perche)

These activities last between 20 and 30 minutes and are adapted to the needs of the people. Seiko is polite and has gotten used to being pushed in case she goes to daycare.

The rabbitkoira also has a lot of hair, which is mandatory: “Brushing and stroking are important actions, it is an attentive, sensitive and cuddly breed.”

Amélie Barraud followed dog training course once a week at Kik Declic, in Les Aulneaux, to relearn the basics of the relationship with the dog.

“Animals contribute a lot to people with Alzheimer’s or related diseases, animal mediation is also gaining momentum with cats, guinea pigs, but also horses, donkeys,” adds Amélie Barraud. “There is no treatment for these people and, apart from non-pharmacological therapies, we cannot do much with the means available.”

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