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Aged care facilities across the country enjoy a paw-some time celebrating National Pet Day

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Aged care residents, team members, and families at Arcare residences across the nation have celebrated National Pet Day on April 11 with a furry facility invasion.

Pet visits and pet therapy are a regular addition to Arcare lifestyle programs, with residences connecting with programs such as Delta Dogs and encouraging and facilitating regular pet visit whenever possible.

Maria and popular therapy dog Marshmallow, pictured above, from Delta Dogs have been visiting Arcare Parkinson in Queensland every fortnight for some time.

Marshmallow is a three-year-old Corgi who lives with Maria in Rocklea.

Prior to his visits, Maria and Marshmallow underwent extended training to ensure he was suitable to handle all types of situations.

Even though they are new to Delta Dogs, everyone in the Arcare Parkinson community looks forward to his visits.

Arcare Parkinson also enjoyed a visit from two adorable Cavalier Maltese Shih Tzus, who spent some of their time enjoying racing down the hallways.

Three-year-old Mabel (black) and two-year-old-Daisy (white, pictured above with Iris) used to visit quite often, but because of lockdowns, their visits have been ‘pawsed’.

With things hopefully a little more settled now, lifestyle coordinator Jodie is planning to bring the dogs in monthly.

Resident Alma was moved when she cuddled with the puppies while fellow resident Diana, pictured top with Daisy and Mabel, recalled always having dogs in her family.

Nine-year-old Golden Retriever Pete can regularly be seen swaying easily down the halls of Arcare Surrey Hills in Victoria.

He visits once a fortnight with lifestyle coordinator, Rachel Natoli.

Pete’s calm temperament and warm cuddles make him the perfect addition to the community and he loves to join in the afternoon Book Club, where he listens to their stories and eventually takes a nap beside the residents.

Arcare Surrey Hills resident, Rene, pictured above with Pete, has a particularly special bond with Pete and always loves to have a cuddle with him in her suite.

I always look forward to seeing Pete, as he makes me smile. Sometimes he’ll just come, sit at my feet, and keep me company.

Arcare Surrey Hills resident, Rene

“The first time Rachel brought Pete into meet me, I got chills and started to tear up, as my son’s name was also Pete, and I was instantly reminded of him.” Rene shared.

“I always look forward to seeing Pete though as he makes me smile. Sometimes he’ll just come, sit at my feet, and keep me company.”

“The residents look forward to Pete’s fortnightly visit,” Lifestyle Coordinator, Rachel shared.

“He provides excellent emotional support to the residents.

“I feel like sometimes he just knows, who needs to see him, as he’ll trot towards certain people, he feels needs company or a cuddle; dogs are great like that.”

Twelve-year-old Groodle, Shelby, pictured above, was once known for her acting chops in big-time commercials for Kellogg’s and ANZ.

She now enjoys visiting the residents at Arcare Knox and The Lodge in Victoria with her owner and Lifestyle Assistant, Bec Quirk.

On National Pet Day, Shelby made the rounds, visiting residents in their suites and in the lounge rooms for a quick pat and cuddle before she showed off her tricks.

Bonnie, Millie, and Isla, pictured below with Joe, were just some of the furry faces that visited Arcare Cheltenham in Victoria for National Pet Day.

Arcare Cheltenham is a pet-friendly community with families and team members regularly bringing in their dogs to visit.

Resident Jim enjoys regular visits from his wife Pam with their family poodle, Millie, pictured above with Jim.

Personal support worker, Jo enjoys bringing in her dog, Bonnie into work with her every Tuesday.

“Bonnie will sometimes sit and accompany the residents in their rooms, and she even accompanies me to Bingo,” Jo said.

Arcare Cheltenham resident Joe enjoys twice weekly visits from his daughter Lisa with their Japanese Spitz, Isla.

Although Arcare Castlemaine has only recently opened, the community has wasted no time creating some ‘paw-fect’ moments.

Lifestyle Coordinator, Peta Downie currently brings in her dog, Jessie, pictured above with residents, two days a week for pet therapy.

To round-off this year’s National Pet Day, Victoria’s Arcare Burnside community received a visit from a new furry friend, Evee.

Evee, pictured above, is residence manager, Janet Rowley’s three-year old Border-Collie, and she visited the Burnside residents for the first time this week.

Research has found that people who interact with pets on a regular basis are generally healthier and live longer, compared to non-pet owners or those who do not regularly engage in pet therapy programs.

Pet therapy for aged care residents has also been proven to help reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression, lower blood pressure, improve cardiovascular health, reduce the risk of social isolation, and increase confidence and self-esteem among many other things.

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