THERAPY DOG GIVES PAWS FOR THOUGHT

Four year old therapy dog Dylan has brought a smile to the face of former basset hound and Labrador breeder Marlene Hajegos.

Marlene aged 78, who used to show dogs at Crufts, met Dylan along with fellow residents at Acacia Nursing Home in Yeovil.

Marlene, who has dementia, enjoyed spending time with the spaniel who was visiting the home as part of the Pets as Therapy (PAT) scheme.

“Marlene has spent her life around dogs it was wonderful to see her so happy,” said Acacia activities co-ordinator Dannielle Whitehouse. “Her eyes really lit up when she saw Dylan.

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“The idea of having a therapy dog coming into the home helps give residents a focus, plus it may trigger memories of having a pet at home in the past.

“Dylan is always a very welcome visitor. There is a noticeable engagement with the dog and handler and residents are quite alert when he’s here.

“It is important for the people we care for to get the chance to be close to a loving pet. They seem to be more alert and communicative during the visits.

“Once he’s been to visit we really see a difference. He seems to create an overall sense of well-being and happiness.”

Acacia Nursing Home run by care provider Camelot Care offers residential, nursing and dementia accommodation in separate units, with nursing and personal care.

The home offers three dining rooms and restaurant-level meals which can be altered to suit special dietary requirements. There are also three lounges and two gardens.

Acacia Nursing Home provides residents with a busy activities programme, including trips to the seaside or to town in a fully adapted minibus.

Camelot Care is an award winning provider of care in the South West with four specialist homes based in Somerset and Devon.

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