A paw-fect way to aid rehabilitation

Teddy, a 15-week-old cockapoo, is becoming a familiar face among residents and staff at The Laurels Neurological Rehabilitation centre, in Lincolnshire.

Visiting four days a week with his owner Sue (who is the Registered Manager of the centre), he is the first dog to attend the rehabilitation centre and is undergoing training to become a PAT dog.

Pets as Therapy (PAT) is a national charity which aims to enhance the health and wellbeing in the community through the visits of trusted volunteers with their behaviourally assessed pets.

The Laurels, recently rated ‘Outstanding’ by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) – placing it in the top 1% of healthcare services in the UK – provides specialist community-based transitional rehabilitation in north-east Lincoln. It supports adults with neurological conditions resulting from injury, illness or disease.

Sue Houston, Registered Manager at The Laurels, commented: “Our patients all have neurological conditions, so by having the therapy dog we hope to be able to aid their recovery in a variety of different ways.

“As part of our person-centred rehabilitation programmes we focus on improving functional independence. Allowing residents to walk, stroke or throw a ball to Teddy can help with physical rehabilitation especially if there is a loss of mobility.

“If anyone has difficulties with speech or thinking processes, we may suggest they perform re-call with Teddy, name parts of his body or give him certain commands such as to sit or stay.

“We are delighted that Teddy attends the centre for four days a week, and although he’s very new to staff and residents he is already making a great impression and bringing plenty of enjoyment.

“I know how much love a dog can bring into someone’s life and when Teddy visits he certainly gets a great response.”

Before a dog can be registered with PAT, they must have been with their owner for at least six months, be over nine months old and be able to pass a temperament assessment.

Return to news homepage