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Care Home Welcomes Four-Legged Friend to Provide Happiness and Connection to Residents

Residents at a Sittingbourne care home felt the powerful connection of animal therapy when a four-legged friend visited to provide joy, comfort and mental stimulation.

Pets As Therapy canine, Dexter, recently visited Nellsar’s Hengist Field Care Home, Kent, where the long-haired Working Cocker Spaniel used his ability to make friends in his role as a registered therapy dog.

Accompanied by his owner, Teresa Abery, who is Hengist Field Care Home’s Business Support Officer, Dexter made the familiar journey to the care home in a bid to provide comfort, companionship and laughs for all those who wanted to benefit from interacting with the friendly canine.

Dexter, whose sweet and gentle temperament makes him a family favourite at Hengist Field, recently passed his Bronze, Silver and Gold Good Citizenship Dog Scheme, which enabled the four-legged pooch to be assessed and meet the criteria to be a registered PAT Dog.

Among Dexter’s favourite residents are David and Mary, whom he enjoys roaming the care home in search of affection and cuddles – to which they happily oblige. Another resident, Maureen, has also built a strong emotional connection with Dexter, walking him around the home and petting him in the main lounge, a simple action that can make a world of difference to residents’ mental health.

Neli Koleva, Hengist Field Care Home Manager, said: “When Dexter visits the home, everyone becomes a lot happier. He’s brought so much joy and love to our residents and has become the main talking point at the home, allowing residents and staff to reminisce about their dogs or other pets they had or have.”

“The unique experience has proven to be an excellent way to bring our residents some joy. Especially beneficial is the positive impact Dexter has on those in the home who are living with dementia. The Alzheimer’s Society recently referred to animal-assisted interventions as having the ability to vastly improve self-esteem and confidence in people with dementia. It can also promote quality of life and encourage independence. It is lovely to see our residents smile and interact with him whilst he happily accepts a cuddle and a pat. We cannot wait to see Dexter again soon!”








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