It’s smiles all round for residents at Exemplar Health Care’s Tyne Grange care home in Newcastle, as they are visited by local dogs, every Friday.

Tyne Grange care home in Newcastle has started a regular ‘dog café’ that allows residents, many of whom have had pets previously, to interact with dogs every week.

Pet therapy has grown in popularity over recent years due to the wide-ranging benefits it can bring including combatting loneliness, boosting activity levels, reducing stress and depression, and unlocking memories.

The care home, located on Grainger Road, introduced the weekly dog café for the home’s residents, who are living with a range of complex conditions including neuro disabilities and dementia.

Helen Wilson, Physiotherapist at Tyne Grange, shares: “Indie has been coming to Tyne Grange every Friday since the home first opened in 2020, when she was around seven months old.

“Most Fridays we do a ‘dog cafe’ where all residents come down to our communal area and Indie (and sometimes Bella – our Home Manager’s dog) will be there to play with. This increases social interaction between residents and puts a smile on everyone’s face.

“The residents enjoy going out and buying treats and toys for her, and will practice training her with tricks. Our more mobile residents come with me to take her for walks, which is great for additional exercise and independence.”

The dog café is part of the home’s holistic activity and therapy programme.

“Pet therapy is just one of the ways we promote people’s health and wellbeing,” continues Helen, “it forms part of a wider programme of activities and therapies that support people to live their best lives.”

“Not only does dog therapy encourage physical activity, it encourage conversation and social interaction between residents and colleagues, who will laugh together and engage with each other when the dog is around.”

Tyne Grange is currently recruiting Health Care Assistants to join the team. For a limited time, the home is offering an enhanced £500 welcome bonus for successful candidates.

For more information, visit www.exemplarhc.com