Animal mediation for the benefit of patients
For the last ten years or so, Choupette (French bulldog cross) and Chaps (Dutch shepherd) have been the mascots and voluntary assistants at Ecoute Cancer Réconfort’s Espace Mieux-Etre.
Just like the legal assistance dogs present at hearings for victims, Choupette and Chaps accompany and provide moral support to patients.
The role of animals
The therapeutic benefits of animals in the lives of human-beings have long been recognised: decreased levels of the stress hormone, anxiety and depression, increased self-confidence. Stroking an animal provides a sense of well-being and appeasement.
Coming to the association is not always easy: the unknown, being observed by others, finding the words to describe one’s pain, the disease, the consequences and one’s fears…thanks to their presence, Choupette and Chaps allow for spontaneous contact, no questions or judgement, reassuring physical contact with an immediate emotional bond. They are often in the reception area but also in the treatment room and have met with unanimous approval.
Testimonials from patients:
“Their being there is calming and extremely pleasant.
They have empathy.
They create a feeling of calm.
They create a family atmosphere in the unit.
They are part of the “cocoon” – if they are not there, we miss them.
During treatment I feel her presence and my breathing slows down.
We don’t feel alone.
She is so happy to see me, I feel touched, welcome.
When I stroke her, I am reassured.
They are an integral part of the association”.
Choupette and Chaps undeniably provide comfort. They have their place and a vital role to play within the association.
Dinner for volunteers
Every month , volunteers from the centre meet for dinner to share some time together in a friendly and relaxed atmosphere and to get to know each other outside the work environment.
On Friday 18th November, Katia organised dinner at the “Beaulieu” restaurant where guests were able to enjoy adelicious meal to the rock sounds of the 80s.
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