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Wentworth Court residents benefit from pet therapy

10th September 2015

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Residents living at Cheltenham’s first dementia-only nursing home are benefitting from weekly visits from a canine companion.

Ellie Litchfield and her dog, Fudge who volunteer with the Pets Are Therapy charity have become regular visitors at Wentworth Court on Village Road.

Ellie said: “I’ve always been an animal-lover and I worked as a nurse for many years and saw the benefits of pets visiting hospital patients over the years, it really brightens people up.

“I like seeing people’s faces when we walk in, it’s very rewarding. Fudge is very calm and gentle and likes people, she’s a lovely dog.”

Ellie, from Bredon has been volunteering with the charity for around eight months. Before meeting residents in hospitals and care homes, Fudge was assessed for her temperament and her ability to be handled by strangers.

The home’s residents, who are living with dementia conditions including Alzheimer’s enjoy their weekly sessions with Fudge.

Activities coordinator, Suzanne Meadows said: “People living with dementia can often respond very positively to a visit from a dog, especially if they’re animal-lovers and have had dogs as pets. It can bring back positive memories and can also reduce stress.”

Over 28,000 dogs have become registered with Pets As Therapy since the charity was founded in 1983. Volunteers provide therapeutic visits to hospitals, hospices, nursing and care homes and special needs schools.
Wentworth Court is Cheltenham’s first dementia-only nursing home, offering highly-individualised care, ensuring that each and every resident feels valued, cared for and respected.
More information about Pets As Therapy is available at http://www.petsastherapy.org/

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