In our previous December 2018 edition of Candlelight Magazine. Christadelphian Aged Care introduced our new mental health registered nurse, Sinead Hayes to our organisation.
This new position focuses on the emotional support and mental health of our residents. Since then we have grown Sinead’s team to include a unique employee.
Meet Albert Einstein, or just Einstein as residents call him. Our newest mental health support dog, Einstein is a Saint Berdoodle, and has been with us for several months visiting our residents across all our homes by Sinead’s side.
Sinead discusses how Einstein came to join our organisation and the positive impact he has on residents.
“We just noticed there was a continual improvement that could be made in our dementia care areas with consistent pet therapy. We currently bring in pet therapy companies such as Delta Dogs, but this is on a weekly or fortnightly basis. We wanted something more permanent for our residents, a therapy puppy that could come with me as I go around to all our homes.”
“When I commenced the role residents were hesitant to speak to the mental health nurse, but Einstein has changed this. He’s breaking down the stigma of mental health that surrounds the aged care industry. He is encouraging people to interact a bit more, and residents are a bit more curious. They’ll approach Einstein for emotional support, which is the biggest change I’ve noticed.”
“Residents light up around him, they’re a lot more interactive. Residents really love his name. We didn’t really expect it in the beginning, but residents do recall his name in the dementia units. They’ll say ‘oh look there’s Albert! Albert Einstein’.”
“He intuitively just knows to be calm around residents who might be agitated, and slows down around residents who are on walkers.”
Not only does Sinead have a new co-worker, but a new roommate.
“He’s a little rascal when it comes to being at home. He doesn’t shed hair, but he loves to roll around. Which mean continual brushing, washing and keeping him sparkly clean for our residents.
“Teaching him to become a therapy puppy was exceptionally easy though. When at the puppy therapy school, the trainer would always say to me, ‘he’s living up to his name’. Next for him will be etiquette puppy schooling.”
Einstein is now on Instagram with over 200 followers and has even been offered to be a dog model. Einstein’s Instagram handle is