29 July 2019
Pets As Therapy visits The Ridings care home
Pets of all shapes and sizes, from therapy dogs to small ponies, visit many Anchor Hanover care homes to help improve and enrich the lives of our residents.
One care home in particular, The Ridings in Banbury, receives regular visits from Pets As Therapy, a national charity designed to enhance the health and wellbeing of the community through their team of volunteers and trusted animals, and the residents are always delighted to meet the pets. A member of The Ridings team said:
“Every Pets As Therapy visit brings happiness to our residents and we noticed positive effects after each visit. Nick and Ghillie are now part of our life here and we would very much like to keep it this way.”
Nick Belson, Pets As Therapy volunteer, has been visiting The Ridings for the past year with his PAT dog, Gilbert, a 5-year-old Tibetan Terrier also fondly known as ‘Ghillie’. During their visit they talk to residents in the communal lounge giving them a chance to say hello. They also kindly visit other residents in their rooms for more one-on-one sessions.
In their time visiting The Ridings, Nick and Ghillie have gone above and beyond, recently joining the team on a 10k walk in Banbury to help fundraise for the residents.
Madie Smith, Career at The Ridings, was asked how having Pets As Therapy has supported their residents:
“Our residents always enjoy visits from Pets As Therapy and most of them find it easy to connect with them. Most of our residents have had their own dogs or pets in the past and they always enjoy talking about it.
Every Thursday morning our residents are waiting for Nick and Ghillie to arrive. It is now part of our resident’s routine and they like it very much. Ghillie brings comfort and helps our residents relax.”
“I once showed one of our residents who is living with dementia a scrapbook we’ve put together with all the activities we are doing. The only photo the resident recognised was one of Nick and Ghillie – it didn’t only look familiar to them, but they could actually remember Ghillie’s name, which I thought was fantastic.”
One resident shared how much he enjoys each visit and looks forward to the next:
“On Thursday I always look forward to two of my favourite visitors: Nick and Gilbert his pet dog. They always greet me, and I know there will be smiles. Nick always carries some doggy treats and he gives me a few, Gilbert then comes and puts his chin on my knee and I say to him ‘say please', I give him some, and as often as I say Gilbert ‘please’ he repeats the little practice of lifting his paw. You can understand now why there is always smiles when Gilbert visits.”
To read the full article, including why Nick decided to volunteer for Pets As Therapy, visit their website here.