For many people having a pet around the house is a normal part of life – which is why Jeb, a 13-year-old kelpie labrador cross, has proven so popular at MercyCare’s Residential Aged Care facility in Wembley.
Jeb’s owner, Marlene Grogan recently signed up as a MercyCare volunteer and has been bringing Jeb to meet residents at the aged care facility once a week.
Marlene, who has worked in the aged care industry for more than 20 years, said there were great benefits for the elderly in having a dog around and she had noticed that Jeb’s presence was of particular benefit to older people living with dementia.
"Jeb has the perfect nature for working with older people as well as a real personality," she said. "He’s a bit of a ‘character’ whose favourite movie is Red Dog and on the rare occasion he comes across someone who doesn’t like dogs, he seems to know to steer clear.
There are important benefits to having a dog or other pets around on a continual basis, it’s all part of a natural living environment and provides a talking point for residents to reminisce about their own pets such as a farm dog or childhood pet."
MercyCare Executive Director, Aged Care Services, Carlo Calogero, said Jeb was a fantastic source of companionship for residents.
"Jeb loves the attention he gets from residents and the residents love his company as well," he said. "We are genuinely grateful for Marlene and Jeb coming in and volunteering their time to visit residents, it really does make such a difference. It is wonderful to see the joy and pleasure Jeb brings to each person he meets. And I am sure our live-in cat and budgie are enjoying their company too."
To learn more about volunteering opportunities with MercyCare visit our website www.mercycare.com.au or call Anne Ward on 9442 3491.