Residents at Bilney Hall care home in East Bilney near Dereham have welcomed some new companions to the home, in the form of interactive pet dogs.
The electronic pets are designed to move, make noises and feel like real dogs, to mimic the experience of touching and interacting with these much-loved animals.
Many of the home’s residents live with dementia and the team has found that the movement and noises made by the pets can be comforting, with this form of interactive companionship being particularly beneficial for those living with the challenges of the condition.
The new pets are just part of a range of activities, entertainment and experiences the team provide to positively impact on residents’ wellbeing and have been happily welcomed into their new home.
Home Manager Nikki Shaw explains, “This is a really unique way for us to bring a completely new dynamic into the home, which is making a positive difference to our residents. Many of the people who live here have enjoyed family pets or animals throughout their lives, and they miss the companionship that dogs and cats can bring.
“The interactive pets provide a way for us to provide something very similar to the companionship they’re used to, and we’ve found that particularly for those residents living with dementia, interacting with the animals can be calming and relaxing, which is fantastic. The reactions we’ve witnessed since the dogs have been introduced is truly heart-warming.”