Looking to become a Helper? Click here

A dependable support community you can trust

NDIS and Therapy Animals


Updated 04-01-2024

NDIS and Therapy Animals

Therapy animals have become integral to various therapeutic interventions, providing comfort, support, and companionship to individuals with diverse needs. In Australia, the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) aims to empower and support Australians with a permanent and significant disability to live their lives to the fullest. An important aspect of this support includes therapeutic interventions, and this often raises the question: How do NDIS participants integrate therapy animals into their care plans?

Understanding Therapy Animals

Therapy animals are animals that are trained to provide affection, comfort, and support to individuals, typically in a therapeutic setting. Unlike service or assistance animals, therapy animals are not always trained for specific tasks related to their handler's disability. Instead, they offer emotional support that plays a crucial role in the mental and emotional well-being of their owners.

Types of Therapy Animals

  • Canine Companions: Dogs are often the most common therapy animals, known for their loyalty and ability to bond with humans.
  • Equine Therapy: Involves horses and is particularly beneficial for physical and emotional therapy needs.
  • Feline Friends: Cats can also be therapy animals, offering companionship and a calming presence.

The Role of NDIS in Therapy Animal Services

Under the NDIS, participants receive funding for supports and services that are reasonable and necessary for their disability. This includes a wide range of therapeutic supports that may encompass the use of therapy animals. It's important to understand, however, that while the NDIS may cover certain animal-assisted therapies, it doesn't cover the cost of purchasing or maintaining therapy animals.

How to Include Therapy Animals in Your NDIS Plan

  1. Expert Assessment: A healthcare professional or an occupational therapist should assess the therapeutic benefit of a therapy animal for your specific situation.
  2. Evidence-Based Recommendations: Present the NDIS with evidence of how a therapy animal would significantly benefit your health and daily functionality.
  3. Cost-Effectiveness: Show that therapy animals are a cost-effective solution compared to other therapeutic interventions.
  4. Official Documentation: Provide detailed information on the therapy animal, including training, certification, and how it meets your individual needs.

Case Studies: Life-Changing Impacts of Therapy Animals for NDIS Participants

Sharing real-life stories of individuals who have benefited from the support of therapy animals can highlight their importance:

  • John: A participant with PTSD found that the presence of a therapy dog significantly reduced his anxiety, leading to a marked improvement in his social interactions and overall wellbeing.
  • Sophie: With mobility challenges, Sophie's therapy horse has been instrumental in improving her muscular strength, balance, and coordination, providing therapeutic benefits beyond the capacity of traditional physical therapy.

Overcoming Misconceptions About Therapy Animals

It's crucial that we address some common misconceptions surrounding the role of therapy animals:

  • They're Not Just Pets: Therapy animals have a specific role in a therapeutic setting, which goes beyond just companionship or the role of a pet.
  • Not Just for Emotional Support: While emotional support is significant, therapy animals can also contribute to physical health improvements.
  • Training and Certification: Therapy animals often undergo a training and certification process to ensure they are fit for the therapeutic setting.

Final Thoughts

The integration of therapy animals within the NDIS opens pathways for innovative therapeutic options that cater to the diverse needs of participants. As therapy animals continue to gain recognition for their therapeutic value, it's essential to adopt a thoughtful approach that considers both the benefits and practical aspects of incorporating these caring companions into disability care plans.

For NDIS participants or their carers considering therapy animals, start a dialogue with your NDIS planner or coordinator. Together, you can explore how therapy animals can become a valuable component of your therapeutic journey towards greater independence and well-being.

About the Author

Alex is an esteemed expert in assistive technology and disability support services, he holds a unique blend of professional expertise and personal dedication to enhancing the lives of individuals with disabilities. With over a decade of experience in research and development, Alex has been at the forefront of integrating cutting-edge assistive technologies into practical support solutions. Renowned for his empathetic approach and strong advocacy for disability rights, Alex’s work extends beyond academic research to hands-on involvement in community initiatives and policy advisory roles. A prolific writer, his articles are widely acclaimed for their insightful analysis, clear communication, and commitment to ethical considerations in technology use.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I switch my NDIS Service Provider?

Yes, you can switch your NDIS provider. Kinder Caring offers comprehensive support in transitioning to a new provider, including assistance with understanding service agreement terms and organising... read more

Can You Work While on NDIS?

The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is a governmental initiative designed to provide support to Australians with a significant and permanent disability. A question commonly posed by par... read more

Does ADHD Qualify for NDIS?

Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a condition characterised by patterns of inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity that are more frequent and severe than typically observed in ... read more

Is Anxiety Covered by NDIS?

Anxiety disorders can be deeply debilitating, impacting the daily lives and functionality of individuals. For many Australians living with such disorders, the National Disability Insurance Scheme (... read more

What Are the 4 Requirements for Access to the NDIS?

The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is an Australian government initiative designed to provide support to individuals with a permanent and significant disability which impacts their abi... read more

What Are the Three Types of NDIS Plans?

Navigating the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) can be challenging, but understanding the different types of plans is crucial for participants to manage their supports and services effec... read more

What Does the NDIS Stand For?

Understanding the terminology and systems surrounding disability support is essential for those seeking assistance and those providing care. One such integral piece of this support system in Austra... read more

What happens to my Unspent NDIS Funds?

Underspending on your National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) plan can have unintended consequences. A common misconception is that underspending is a positive outcome, demonstrating frugality.... read more

What Is Classed as a Disability for NDIS?

Understanding what constitutes a disability for the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is crucial for Australians who are looking for support. The NDIS is designed to provide targeted assi... read more

Why Choose Kinder Caring for Your Home Care Needs?

Contact us today to discover how our personalised care plans can make a significant difference in your life, upholding our commitment to care and compassion.

A dependable support community you can trust

Tradition of Trust & Excellence

At Kinder Caring, we stand as guardians of a 25-year heritage, offering top-notch home care services. Our deep understanding and vast experience make us an ideal choice for those seeking excellence in community care.

A dependable support community you can trust

Tailored Care for Your Lifestyle

We specialise in creating personalised care plans, understanding each client’s unique needs. Our Care Managers ensure every care aspect is bespoke, valuing each individual’s distinct preferences and requirements.

A dependable support community you can trust

Empowering Your Choice

Kinder Caring respects your decision-making freedom. Choose between our in-house experts or skilled independent contractors for care that perfectly fits your lifestyle, providing genuine flexibility.

A dependable support community you can trust

Decades of Service

Over 25 years, Kinder Caring has dedicated over 2.5 million hours to supporting more than 7,400 individuals, reflecting our commitment to impactful, high-quality care.

A dependable support community you can trust

A Community of Professionals

Our team, chosen for skill and compassion, forms the backbone of Kinder Caring. We focus on building a strong, caring team committed to your comfort and well-being.

A dependable support community you can trust

Accreditation & Improvement

Kinder Caring’s adherence to the ACIS and investment in ongoing staff development reflect our commitment to providing care that meets the highest quality and contemporary standards.

A dependable support community you can trust

Building Trusted Relationships

We’re more than care providers; we’re partners in your health journey. With a widespread network and collaborations with funding organisations, we offer accessible, superior care across NSW, QLD & VIC.

A dependable support community you can trust

Join the Kinder Caring Family

Choosing Kinder Caring means joining a family dedicated to your independence and well-being. Be part of our 25-year journey, continuing our legacy of impactful, caring service.

Our happy clients

Bridging the gap between you and an enhanced quality of life, Kinder Caring is committed to nurturing your independence, and delivering compassionate care in the comfort of your home.

A dependable support community you can trust

We’re immensely grateful for Kinder Caring’s assistance over the past months. A special shoutout to Nicole Coupland, who has been an exceptional carer for Mum. Thank you for your unwavering support.

- Carolina,
Willoughby, NSW
A dependable support community you can trust

We are so pleased with the care Dad has been receiving from Kinder Caring, especially from Aster. She has shown professionalism and dedication. We appreciate the company’s flexibility in accommodating our requests, like Aster wearing a mask and gloves. The temporary rail adjustments and the proactive approach in ensuring the best care for Dad is commendable. Thank you, Kinder Caring.

- Karin,
Kealba, VIC
A dependable support community you can trust

Kinder Caring has been exceptional in their service. They provided a wonderful carer who is exceptional at what she does. Not only did they promptly get my quote approved, but they also took care of my window cleaning needs and organized transportation for my medical appointments. I couldn’t be happier!

- Maria,
Melton, VIC
A dependable support community you can trust

There was so much more to caring for Dad than we ever thought. Kinder Caring provided everything we needed to support us; they became part of our family… they made a difficult time so much easier for us.

Lindfield NSW
A dependable support community you can trust

A huge thank you to all the nurses at Kinder Caring. Having your expertise, caring attitude and ongoing advice meant we did not have to place Dad into a nursing home or send him to hospital and therefore his last days spent with Mum and the family were very special for us all.

Mt Waverley Vic

Experience Exceptional Home Care with Kinder Caring!

Unlock 25 Years of Trusted Expertise: 2,500,000+ Hours of Dedicated Care delivered to 7,400+ people from 560,000+ Personalised Services

Your Journey to Peace of Mind Starts Here. Contact Us Today!

1300 796 675