They may have a few extra legs than the volunteers we’re used to in the Aged Care Volunteer Visitors Scheme (ACVVS), but one thing’s for sure, they’re too easily running away with people’s hearts when they visit. We’d like to introduce you to our newest volunteers – meet Sherlock, Bentley and Luca.
Our first canine companion superstar who joined us in July was Luca who belongs to volunteer, Carol. Luca’s described as a ‘designer dog’ – a ‘Staffakelpador’ – otherwise known as a staffy, labrador, kelpie mix. Together they visit an aged care facility in Highgate to delight residents. To get on her good side, Luca loves nothing more than a dried rabbit ear treat after dinner. We’re sure this is an acquired taste!
Bentley is a seven-year-old Cavalier King Charles spaniel and along with Helen, visits a facility in Kingsley. Although this duo only recently joined the program in the last few months they’ve already made many friends. The way to Bentley’s heart is the same many of us share, a bit of Red Rooster chicken!
Lastly, you may have already met Sherlock, who’s featured on our Facebook page recently. He holds the honour of being the program’s first furry volunteer visitor in the South West region since the volunteer program expanded there in July.
Sherlock is a three-year-old, glossy, black miniature cavoodle, who visits residents in an Eaton aged care facility with his human companion, Charmaine. He is loved by both residents and staff at the facility and everyone enjoys his visits describing him as a ‘placid little guy’, who knows exactly which room his clients live in and stops by their rooms to say hello on every visit.
Having never seen a wheelchair he was a little taken aback on his first encounter with one resident, but Charmaine gave the gentleman a treat to give to Sherlock and they have been best buddies ever since. His owner shared how, if this resident is asleep in his chair, Sherlock gives him a gentle nudge to announce his arrival and then hops up on his lap for a cuddle.
This beloved dog softens the hardest heart and has become mates with another resident who looks out for Sherlock on visiting day. She says, “He makes my day!”
If you have a dog who’s good with people, have you considered volunteering with your fur-buddy to brighten the lives of an older person in an aged care facility? Perhaps 2024 is your year to volunteer!
Visit our website for more information on volunteering or to register your interest with Advocare’s Aged Care Volunteer Visitors Scheme (ACVVS).