Nancy and Max enjoyed cuddles while attending a social event at St Peter’s Church, in West London, designed to help people with dementia unlock long lost memories.
TheraPaws dogs, including Wally and Lulu, charmed the whole room with their waggy tails and wet noses, at the gathering organised by Age UK, Kensington and Chelsea.
Nancy spoke of her fear of dogs: “I was always frightened of them but Max is lovely and so friendly. I’m doing really well even petting him. This visit has made me feel so confident around dogs. I hope to see them again.”
Luke Berman, TheraPaws Project Manager, said: “Today’s event coincides with National Pet Month whose theme this year is all about pets and the elderly. It’s a proven fact that stroking a dog can help lower blood pressure and boost mental and physical wellbeing. It’s such a joy to see the dogs interacting with the members today. It really brings people out of their shells and you can see the joy in their faces.”
Bonnie Baker, photographer for The Mayhew, captured the emotions perfectly in her pictures. She added: “The pets got everyone talking. Everyone loved them and wanted their pictures taken which was heartwarming.”
Kate Moffat, from Age UK, enthused: “TheraPaws offers such a valuable service to the elderly. Many people with dementia are unable to have a pet but this offers a vital chance for them to visit memory lane and remember their own dogs. TheraPaws is such a wonderful service which is provided free of charge. We can’t thank them enough.”
At the end of the visit, the dogs, staff and volunteers from The Mayhew received a huge round of applause for their efforts.
Based in Kensal Green, North-West London, volunteers and their dogs regularly visit many care homes and special outreach events to offer much needed support to dementia sufferers and their relatives. They also help people in palliative care units by easing their suffering and bringing smiles to everyone’s faces.
If you would like to get Involved, check out our TheraPaws volunteer opportunities here: www.themayhew.org/therapaws
National Pet Month 2015 runs from 01 April – 04 May 2015.
For more information please visit http://www.nationalpetmonth.org.uk
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