‘In my time I also had some. Until I was 13, I was on the farm ”. “And I had up to twenty cows to milk!” … This Wednesday afternoon, Yvonne and Maurice, more than 160 sources between them, are talking under the sun. Under their eyes, Lisa, the donkey, and Serge, the bull, quietly graze the lawn of the Kervenoaël nursing home. Inside, roosters, rabbits, guinea pigs and dogs keep it lively.
Every month, in the five years it has been held, the meeting is eagerly awaited at the Pontivyan establishment. Of residents, of course, but also staff and families. “It undeniably creates a bond,” smile Amandine Le Meilleur and Damien Le Lausque, animators at the nursing home. Some have been there since early afternoon; not really busy being taken back to their room.
On the terrace, the memories come back. “I was a farm clerk in Neulliac (56),” confides Jean, 86. “And me, it was with big draft horses, I worked the ground …”. “Many of our residents come from the agricultural world,” says Amandine Le Meilleur. This activity gives them the opportunity to talk about what is rewarding ”. It also allows for meetings. Residents of various pavilions discover old neighbor tapes during a conversation.
The benefits of animal husbandry are not necessarily quantifiable, but real.
In the activity room we brush, comb, feed, caress … The residents are full of attention to the animals present. And with each of her indoor wanderings, Lisa, the donkey, evokes a sensation. On Wednesday, Caroline Rioux and her daughter Zélie arrived with thirteen of their animals, all used to exercising.
The Cléguérecoise farmer trained in animal mediation fifteen years ago. It is now involved in a number of companies in the sector; and also receives very directly from his dairy farm.
An innate sociability
“The benefits of animal husbandry are not necessarily quantifiable, but real. And on everyone, regardless of age, need or pathology ”. For the benefit of morale, attention, memory but also the senses, motor skills … “I saw a lady who refused to wash herself because the dog was there”, breathes Amandine Le Meilleur.
The dog in question is Paillette, the mascot of this shock team. The dog is a mediator par excellence “but who needs to be trained”, Caroline Rioux clarifies. And for the other animals, “it depends on their character,” she smiles. For some, sociability is innate… A bit like for people after all ”.
Mediation according to the seasons
In winter, the animation adapts. “We bring the animals into the rooms of the various residents. It gives everyone the opportunity to benefit from it, regardless of their degree of autonomy, ”says the host of Ehpad.
Not the biggest of them, of course, but rabbits or guinea pigs somehow intervene at home. Once a summer, the inhabitants of Pontivy travel to the Rioux farm for a fantastic pancake day. And to share with these pets, which have almost become a habit.