Our rehabilitation service in Lincolnshire is considering starting an in-depth research project after seeing some fascinating results in patients following the introduction of a surprising new resident.
Teddy is a 14-week-old cockapoo and for the last couple of months he has been going to work with his owner Sue, the Registered Manager of The Laurels Neurological Rehabilitation service in Lincoln.
Teddy is training to become a PAT (Pets as Therapy) dog with the intention that he’ll enhance the health and wellbeing of both residents and staff at the home but even though Teddy has only just begun his official training, the impact he is having on some of the centres residents is astounding staff and their families.
Residents that previously held very little conversation are communicating with Teddy whilst others are showing emotions and expressions that have rarely been seen before.
Teddy’s owner and Registered Manager Sue Houston told us:
‘When the clients see Teddy you can see their mood lift and they become immediately engaged, focused and concentrated on the task of greeting him. Astonishingly, we have noted an immediate improvement in the communication of one lady who is often very confused. She has started using automatic speech phrases, something we had never witnessed. For example she will immediately say “hello”, “silly Billy” and “come on” to Teddy when she sees him. Her companionship with Teddy has made her more at ease, meaning staff can then guide her with rehabilitation and activity tasks.’
‘The unconditional love and bond between Teddy and the clients has been duly observed and they are always waiting to greet him. One individual in particular has undergone a noticeable, positive, improvement in his mood. He appears a happy, confident young man who enjoys every minute of the sessions that include stroking Teddy and taking him out into the garden, with staff support.’
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. It supports adults with neurological conditions resulting from injury, illness or disease and the team there are so impressed with Teddy that they are now observing behaviours of residents which they’re hoping will lead to some validated research.