When Banjo arrives at Amaroo Gardens each morning the first thing he does is race to the dining room and check under the table for crumbs left behind from the residents breakfast. Banjo is a 15 year old Shih Tzu X Jack Russell and has been going to work with his ‘mum’ Jennifer who is a Lifestyle Co-ordinator since he was 3 months old.
Banjo’s day is pretty busy and varied. He loves to sleep under Jennifer’s desk and then later in the day he will go for a wander to visit residents who love to have a chat and pat his silky hair. Jennifer has trained Banjo to jump up and hold onto the walkers to make it easier for the residents with limited mobility to pat him. Banjo can be cheeky and has been known to join in on the activities! On one occasion he walked through the middle of the concert and joined the line-dancers much to their great surprise!
When the weather is nice, Banjo likes to join the bus tours going for a drive with residents on a half day tour. He likes to find a place under a seat and snuggle on the floor. When Jennifer is away, the residents are desperate to know when they will see Banjo again as they miss his company, personality and of course snuggling up to him.
Having Banjo at Amaroo is also great for breaking down the barriers with younger kids who sometimes find it stressful when they visit their Great Grandparents. They are able to look forward to seeing their elderly loved ones because they get to visit Banjo as well. Banjo also seems to have another sense, he knows when people are unwell and snuggles up to them for days. It can be tough for new residents having to leave their pets behind, so having Banjo around every day has really helped Amaroo residents adjust and feel like they are still at home.
Following the EDEN philosophy of having plants, pets and children in aged care can really normalise things. Whilst pets living permanently at any Homestyle facility is not possible, Banjo has helped to lift the mood and morale with his day visits and he is certainly a valued part of the team at Amaroo Gardens.
If you would like to organize a tour of one of our Aged Care Homes in Victoria please contact us on (03) 9559 0400 or visit us here https://homestyleagedcare.com.au