The theme for Dementia Awareness Month 2016 is "You are not alone" and since resident and visiting pets are a vital part of Mercy Health's aged care homes, we are hosting a very special event at Mercy Place East Melbourne to acknowledge this.
Pets in aged care are known to inspire greater physical, cognitive and emotional well-being whilst connecting with one another. Pets can provide an opportunity for people living with dementia to express their emotions and enable meaningful communication opportunities through interacting with and talking about the animal. Resident pets and pet visits provide opportunities for reminiscence about past pets whilst stimulating long and short term memory and provide sensory experiences that elicit a sense of comfort and security.
Let's unleash the joy of animal companionship at Mercy Place East Melbourne with a doggy play date and special guest celebrity vet, Dr Katrina Warren who will present to residents on her work as a vet and animal advocate in the media. Meet our stars of the day below:
Where's Rocky? There he is, in his stripy red and white!!!
Rocky is an active pooch that rarely shows his ripe old age of 10. He wears his heart on his paw and loves a good scratch on the back.
Rocky is a Staffy cross Kelpie and his human is Alexa Green, Group HR Coordinator at Mercy Health Support Services.
We asked Rocky if he was on social media but he has informed us that his human said he isn't allowed on social media until he turns 12.
Pawsibly the youngest of this bunch but don't underestimate this little guy's big heart. Gatsby is a loving, friendly and playful pooch who is always up for a cuddle.
Given Gatsby's youthful age of 6 months, he can be quite mischievous at times but it's ok, he can be obedient – especially when there is cheese involved. Bon A-pet-treat!
Gatsby is a Cavoodle and his human is Alicia Thomas, Group Diversity Advisor at Mercy Health.
If you want to see more photos of Gatsby, he has over 800 followers on Instagram @gatsby_the_cavoodle. Check him out!
Gus is a 5 year old French bulldog and his human is Cynthia Slattery, Events Coordinator at Mercy Health.
Gus is a fun loving clown with a heart of gold. Gus is a real life action man and loves lapping up the centre of attention. Gus really knows how to pose for the puparazzi and aspires to one day feature on the cover of Vanity Fur but knows if this is going to happen he needs to work more on his fan base on Instagram @gusbeans_frenchbulldog
Gus is a real muttropolitan who likes to get amongst it. His top priorities in life are walkies, toys and cuddles. He is often known to suf-fur with serious case of FOMO when left at home so he is looking forward to being the star of the show on September 2.
Dave is a slightly podgy 2 year old Beagle who has more interest in modelling than living up to his supposed reputation of being a scent hound.
Dave loves Bark-B-Q chicken and will do anything for you in return for a treat. In Dave's spare time he enjoys a little bit of whining and dining whilst watching shows such as the Bachelor and Masterchef.
Dave is always up for a cuddle and loves to make new friends. His human is Sophie Friggens, Executive Officer and Assistant to Tony Goad.
You can check out Dave's model portfolio on Instagram @davethebeagle
Raffy is the most paws-itive of this bunch with not a fur-ocious bone in her body.
Raffy is always happy and ready to be social. She loves to off-fur cuddles to her humans.
Raffy is a 9 year old Pomeranian and her human is Bec Jolly, Manager Community Participation - Quality and Risk, Mercy Health Support Services.
Jules is the Citizen Canine of this bunch having already played with residents at Mercy Place Parkville and Abbotsford. He has been a big hit with the residents because he is a beautiful affectionate gentle boy who thinks he is human. He adores human contact and being cuddled.
Jules' is an 11 year old English Staffordshire Terrier. His human is Lisa Dick, Older Persons Nurse Practitioner Residential Aged Care.
Maddy loves two things in this world – sleeping and a good pat. Fur-tunately for her, the residents at Mercy Place East Melbourne are very excited to give this fetching little lady lots of love on September 2.
Maddy is a 7 year old Staffordshire Bull Terrier. Her human is Juan Hompart, Finance Manager at Mercy Health Support Services.
We asked Maddy is she was on social media but said she only had MySpace back when she was a pup!
Ralphie is a real muttropolitan who likes to get amongst it. His top priorities in life are walkies, toys and cuddles. On weekends he turns his back on the muttropolitan life with visits to Fairhaven beach.
Ralphie is often known as Gatsby’s Doggleganger because they are real life step brothers!
Ralphies human is Kate McCormack, Group Executive Director People, Learning & Culture and he is looking forward to being the star of the show on September 2.
Maverick is a pawesome pooch with a kind and loving nature. Maverick loves a cuddle and most of the time doesn't realise that he is dif-fur-ent to his human having four legs!
Maverick is soon to be a birthday boy, turning 6 very shortly. He is a Groodle which is a golden retriever x poodle and his human is Phoebe Cordner, HR Administrator for Health Services.
You can see more photos of Maverick and his adventures on Instagram @maverickthegroodle.