Seven News: Pets bring joy to aged care residents at Bupa Donvale

Some very special pets are bringing love and laughter to residents at the Bupa Donvale aged care home. We were very proud to have the one of our wonderful volunteers, Jill Spencer, recognised in this Seven News report.

A Donvale nursing home is reaping the... - 7 News Melbourne

Jill Spencer has been volunteering at Bupa Donvale for 6 years.

She started coming as a visitor with her dogs to see her elderly uncle, and quickly realised how much of a difference the dogs were making to residents at the home, boosting their health and emotional wellbeing. So, even after her 95 year old uncle passed away, she continues to volunteer with her four legged friends every week.

Bupa Donvale welcomes pets into the home and encourages visitors to bring them along whenever they can. 

Research shows that simply having pets around can help to boost a person’s health and wellbeing, and the benefits can also be seen socially, emotionally and even cognitively.

Owning and caring for a dog, for example, can encourage increased levels of motivation and physical activity, and can provide an all-important feeling of companionship and being needed. Owning a pet may also help some people deal better with stress and grief. Some research has also found that dog and cat owners make fewer visits to the doctor and spend less time in hospital; they also tend to have lower cholesterol and blood pressure than non-pet owners.

Jill, Martin and their dogs also feature in a beautiful coffee table book called Happiness is Dog Shaped. Find out more about the book here