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Baycrest residents receive star ‘tweetment’

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Residents from Bolton Clarke’s Baycrest residential aged care community at Hervey Bay have been receiving the star ‘tweetment’ with monthly visits from some high-flying friends from Hervey Bay Animal Refuge.

The four hand-raised birds - Callahan the cockatoo, Flokie the Galah, Harvey the Ecclectus and Phoenix the Concure - have become crowd favourites of residents.

Bolton Clarke Baycrest Diversional Therapist Sandy Sorrensen said that it was unusual for birds to have such a significant impact in a pet therapy program.

“Usually the four-legged friends get more attention, but what we have found is that many of our residents recognise the birds from their farming backgrounds or from having them as a pet,” she said.

“We have had excellent response from the residents with these birds, including those receiving specialised care.”

“Callahan and Harvey have ‘star power.’ The residents love to have them sit on their shoulders.”

The winged visitors are brought into the community by volunteers and team members from Hervey Bay Animal refuge, accompanied by other animals including dogs.

Debbie Cork from the refuge said she was grateful to volunteers for supporting the program.

“We couldn’t do it without their help,” she said. “It’s very rewarding. We are always on the lookout for more volunteers to support the work we are doing with Bolton Clarke and other aged care communities in Hervey Bay.”

The pet therapy program is supervised by the Baycrest Diversional Therapy team and began following a donation collection to the refuge from residents, their families, and team members.