How dogs in nursing homes and aged care can benefit the whole community
Our program for the aged care industry provides a positive impact on staff as well as residents. With our focus on mental health and support, your community will enjoy a long-lasting and positive connection with your dog.
How do wellbeing dogs help in aged care?
For many aged care residents, moving into assisted living can be a confronting and lonely time. Having a wellbeing dog in the nursing home can add an instant homely feeling.
Having a dog in a nursing home can help:
Calm unsettled residents
Many elderly residents, particularly those with dementia, can become agitated and anxious throughout the day. Even just patting a dog for a few minutes can lower the heart rate and help people relax. The presence of a wellbeing dog in dementia care can calm and distract aged care residents.
Increase social connection
Residents who struggle with loneliness love the social connection of having a dog in their aged care facility. Dogs provide unconditional love and can allow aged care residents to give and receive affection. It’s not just the connection with the wellbeing dog but its presence can also help forge deeper connections with carers, visitors and other aged care residents.
Improve staff mental health and wellbeing
The benefits aren’t just for the aged care residents. We have also seen great benefits for aged care staff. We can focus on staff mental health and train staff to become facilitators within their organisation.
How does it work?
We are able to work with aged care centres all over Australia. Our innovative programs can be tailored to suit your particular needs with additional support for dementia patients, staff mental health and facilitator training.
Initially, we need a volunteer to home the dog and be the primary carer. Once that has been decided, we help you:
- Find a suitable dog that will suit your circumstances.
- Write policies, risk assessments and building protocol documents to meet international standards.
- Prepare the aged care centre so that consistent expectations are set and met by everyone.
- Set up the aged care centre and home space so that your wellbeing dog feels like it belongs.
- Train individuals in building authentic connections between members of the community and the wellbeing dog.
- Set healthy and context-appropriate behavioural routines for your wellbeing dog and community.
- Teach social and emotional management strategies with the wellbeing dog.
- Build confidence with the community dog and become creative by working as a team to meet your needs.