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Pet Therapy

Meet Lola a 14month old, Cavapoo. Lola has been visiting Hengoed and brightening residents’ days since January 2023.

At Hengoed we are passionate about delivering a holistic approach to ensure optimal care and improved outcomes for the residents we support. Lola plays a key part in this. Her presence offers solace to many residents’ physical, emotional and spiritual needs. Lola has completed Level 1 and 2 in Therapy Dog training with The Puppy and Friends Academy and is currently waiting to complete Level 3 assessment.

Studies have shown that Therapy dogs have many therapeutic benefits for both mental and physical health including improved self-esteem, increase in physical activity, reduction in anxieties and stresses, all of which contribute to the overall goal of recovery and rehabilitation.

Hengoed’s Dog Therapy programme offers protected time for Lola to interact on a one-on-one basis with residents either in the communal areas, resident bedrooms, or the grounds of Hengoed.

What are the benefits of Dog Therapy?
  • Improved self-esteem – Spending time with a pet can boost confidence and self-esteem. The displays of affection can boost an individual’s confidence and make them feel desirable.
  • Increased physical activity – Dog Therapy encourages exercise and time spent outdoors which in itself can help people live a healthier and happier lifestyle. Motor skills and coordination can be honed by interactions with and through the grooming of animals.
  • Reduce stress & anxiety levels – Studies have found that stroking animals has a calming effect which releases endorphins therefore helps reduce stress and improve sense of well-being. This is especially beneficial for residents who suffer from Anxiety, Depression, Autism, PTSD, Dementia, and those who may be unable to communicate.  A reduction in challenging behaviours, agitation and aggression have also been linked.

Lola is a valued member of the team with staff and residents alike looking forward to seeing her lovable face and gentle demeanour. Resident XX commented: “I enjoy the company, she is a lovely dog”.

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