Seniors’ four-legged friend is paw-fect
For many people having a pet around the house is a normal part of life – which is why Tully, the two-and a half year-old pooch, has proven so popular at two not-for-profit residential homes in Perth.
The happy hound has been visiting residents at Mercyville and Mercy Place, Edgewater every fortnight, ever since he used his charms as a 10-week old pup to win over his owner Teresa Rose who has been a carer, lifestyle co-ordinator and a member of the pastoral care team at the homes for almost 20 years, until she retired at the end of March.
And since then Tully has become a huge hit at both homes during regular visits which bring companionship to residents, the majority of whom have owned and loved dogs in their younger years.
Mercyville Service Manager, Alison Devonport, said Tully was a fantastic source of companionship for seniors.
“Having pets around is all part of a natural living environment,” she says. “Tully makes Mercyville, and Mercy Place Edgewater feel more like home, and he also provides a talking point for residents to reminisce about their own pets.
“His presence is also very relaxing for residents, they love stroking him and giving him treats, and his visits certainly increase interactivity with residents who are living with dementia; the feedback we’ve received from everyone has been very positive.”
Teresa adds that the outings are also a treat for Tully. “He’s a real ‘personality’ dog who refuses to be ignored and would happily be stroked and fed all day,” she says.
“Having him visit really does brighten the day for many of the residents, so it’s no surprise that animal interaction is a great source of therapy. Even residents who have had little experience with dogs cannot resist his appealing looks and nature.”
Mercy Health is a Catholic not-for-profit provider of care, founded by the Sisters of Mercy and grounded in a 2,000-year tradition of caring for those in need. The organisation provides health and aged care services throughout Victoria, southern New South Wales, Western Australia, Queensland and the Australian Capital Territory.
In Western Australia, the organisation cares for more than 300 people across six residential aged care homes, with an additional 78 retirement living units.