Australians love their pets, especially dogs, about one in four Aussie households have one.
So, when older people move into residential aged care, many love still being able to interact with a friendly, furry friend.
Kuma the field spaniel has been visiting our Wembley Residential Aged Care facility since she was three-months-old.
She pops in on residents with her owner, MercyCare volunteer, Marleen.
Marleen is studying occupational therapy at university and originally volunteered her time solo.
When she got Kuma as a puppy, everyone unanimously agreed that it would be great for the residents if she brought her dog along.
Kuma has proved popular with those she visits.
She is often greeted with smiles and gets plenty of pats and cuddles.
Marleen says seeing a dog around the place often reminds residents of their pets they’ve had throughout their lives.
She says bringing Kuma along has been a good ice-breaker to talk to the people who live at the facility, many of whom she is now on first name basis with.
MercyCare Wembley offers everything older people need for their care, support, and lifestyle.
It is set among heritage listed buildings and combines history with modern care facilities in lush garden surrounds.