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Caring Canine Companions
The Golden Retriever Club of South Australia Inc, working through The Commonwealth Department of Health and Ageing, administers Caring Canine Companions.
Our objective is to visit and befriend lonely and isolated residents of residential aged care homes and hostels. By providing animal intervention therapy and quality time we help reduce loneliness, improve communication and cognitive and physical functioning, decrease stress and anxiety, and motivate and enhance quality of life.
We currently have around 140 volunteers, ranging from younger full-time workers to retirees, and their dogs visiting 120 nursing homes and hostels in the metropolitan area, and in many country areas of South Australia. They are given training, support and assistance in understanding the environment of aged care.
Our visiting dogs are the volunteers’ family pets, of any breed. They are officially assessed for friendliness, cleanliness, and suitability for the Scheme.
All residents in a nursing home can enjoy the visiting canines. For many of them a pat and a cuddle brings back memories of their own precious pets of years gone by. Staff and relatives are amazed at the reaction from residents with dementia - smiles, tears, and even speech from folk with whom they have been unable to communicate in any way.
Visiting with Caring Canine Companions is enjoyable and rewarding for all concerned – residents, volunteers and dogs.