Dogs on a dementia mission for the Mayhew Animal Home
- Credit: Archant
Three dogs from The Mayhew Animal Home were a howling hit in Kingsbury as they offered therapy at a dementia event.
Noodle, Shadow and Tess were at the Alzheimer Society’s café at the Father O’Callaghan Centre in Hay Lane offering the Mayhew’s pet therapy programme to those affected by memory loss and dementia.
The TheraPaws pet therapy programme, offered by the charity in Trenmar Gardens in Kensal Green, recognises the benefits of animals engaging with older people, particularly with dementia, encouraging social interaction to promote emotional and physical wellbeing.
Alan Newman, who regularly attends Alzheimer’s Society’s dementia café, said: “I think TheraPaws is brilliant, I’d already heard of the programme as they used to visit my late wife.”
“It’s so good to see the dogs interacting with people, and it gets them talking about their childhood pets. I even adopted a black cat called Sooty from The Mayhew a few years ago.”
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Adrian Pennington from Alzheimer’s Society, said: “We are so grateful to charities like The Mayhew for their free service. TheraPaws is a great initiative and it’s wonderful to see people’s reactions when the dogs first enter the room.”
Luke Berman, project manager, TheraPaws, says: “It was great to work with Alzheimer’s Society, a fantastic charity helping people with dementia. As we walked in people immediately stopped talking and looked at the animals.”
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“Some people have had to give their pets up so our dogs bring a lot of joy and wellbeing to people. It was a terrific day getting to know so many different people.”
Mayhew volunteers and their dogs go on regular visits to care homes, day centres, hospices and hospitals across 11 different London boroughs including Brent and Westminster.
They currently have 75 volunteers and 50 dogs devoting their time to the TheraPaws programme.