Bodhi The Care Dog brings Joy to Beechwood Grove Care Home
TRUSTED and trained care dog Bodhi is a welcome visitor for all the residents at our Beechwood Grove Care Home, and he has learnt from the best as his owner Kim Christmas, is a carer there too. 20- month-old lurcher, Bodhi has been a regular at the care home for 6 months and laps up the attention of the residents when he makes his rounds.
Resident Margaret Sperring, 89, has always been an animal lover, she says: “I’ve always had dogs and just love the bonding sensation when you stroke and pet Bodhi – it’s so comforting. “I like to know when he is coming as I stock up on treats and really miss him when he’s not around, I’d be lost without him now.”
Bodhi’s visits are a highlight for residents at Beechwood Grove and pet therapy has long been proven to have many long-term health and well-being benefits for older people, these include reducing anxiety and helping to lift their mood. In addition, providing activities that aid memory recall and reflection, helps to give residents a feeling of security and comfort.
Head Housekeeper Kim explains, “I knew the residents would love to meet him as several have owned and grown up with dogs and have told me that they would love it if he came in to see them. I knew Bodhi would be happy going into different situations and meeting new people.
“When I took Bodhi to dog training I found out about ‘Canine Concern’ a charity that works with volunteers to bring caring dogs into places like care homes and hospitals to benefit the community.
“Caring dogs must be well trained, Bodhi has passed his Bronze, Silver, and Gold ‘Good Citizen’ Award. On top of that, Bodhi had to pass an assessment where we met the assessor in a busy public place. Any owner and dog can join as a volunteer. Any breed – cross breed, large, small, hairy or short, as all have their merits.”
Pet therapy is just one of the activities tailored to the interests of residents at Beechwood Grove Care Home which also offers private ensuite rooms in a homely, safe and comfortable purpose-built care home in East Sussex with room for 60 residents.
Head of Hospitality Iain Attwood says, “Bodhi is always welcome as he brings so much joy to our residents. He is very easygoing and well-behaved and is not fazed by anything. This means that every resident has the same opportunity to spend time with him. He seems to be as comfortable on the memory floor with lots going on as he is going into nursing residents’ rooms on a 1-2-1 basis.
“All team members have to wear a name badge as part of their uniform, we decided that as Bodhi was a regular he too should have a badge – we wanted him to feel part of the team too.”
Discover more about our resident care and lifestyles at Beechwood Grove Care Home