Pet Therapy is not exactly a new idea in the aged care space, but over the last few years there has been a definite increase in the number of aged care facilities utilising animals to combat issues of loneliness and social isolation amongst residents.
The recent addition of a beautiful dog named Zeus to Newcastle’s Cameron Park Care Community is yet another example of how a pet can bring a sense of joy and companionship to the lives of seniors in care.
Despite being an older dog, energetic Zeus arrived at the New South Wales home a few months ago with a reputation as a bonafide escape artist.
Speaking with 9 News last week, Dog Rescue Newcastle volunteer Bec Lee spoke about Zeus’ legendary vanishing exploits prior to his arrival at his new home.
Now feeling at home in his new environment, Zeus has set about lifting the spirits of his fellow residents. Some of which were in dire need of a canine-induced moral boost.
Cameron Park resident, Anne, had been struggling emotionally since the death of her husband at Christmas but found the friendship of a loving dog has helped manage the grief.
Upon meeting Anne for the first time, staff reported that Zeus showered her with attention and his playful nature managed to bring a smile to Anne’s face that staff had not seen since the passing of her beloved husband, George.
Sitting alongside her hairy, new companion, Anne was quick to sing the praises of Zeus – despite his proclivity to sample every piece of furniture in Cameron Park.
“He’s gorgeous, he’s such a lovely dog,” said Anne as Zeus hopped onto a nearby chair.
“He is good company for lots of people. I like his comedy act with the chairs; he goes and sits in them just like a human being,” she chuckled.
Another of Cameron Park’s residents, Millie, has also benefitted from the arrival of Zeus. Staff said Millie barely left her room until the dog arrived at the home.
“She comes out of her room all the time now,” said Ms Abbott. “She takes him for walks, he’s her best friend.”
Talking to 9 News, Millie made the stunning confession that Zeus actually sleeps in her room at the moment.
“He’s got his bed in my room and he sleeps in there,” said Millie. “Oh, he snores sometimes, but he hasn’t woken me up yet!”