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Blossom the therapy dog enhances lives

 Blossom the therapy dog at Ballinamore Community Nursing Unit, Co Leitrim.


As well as featuring high on the cuteness barometer, Blossom has a very important job in Co Leitrim. Blossom is a therapy dog and a regular visitor to Ballinamore Community Nursing Unit. While she is adored by staff and residents, her therapeutic role is what makes her presence a particularly welcome addition.

Staff delight in seeing how much the residents anticipate her arrival. Having lived full, independent lives before moving to the nursing unit, the residents now make the facility their home. With most needing extra assistance with their everyday needs, the loss of independence can have an impact on their confidence and outlook. As they navigate their way through their new lives and seek to establish a new sense of identity within their new surroundings, the support they receive from medical, nursing and social care staff is particularly important. Staff at the unit are constantly looking to enhance the confidence and everyday experiences of the residents.

And that’s where Blossom is of particular help. On her regular visits she exudes energy and brings joy, while also helping in many other diverse ways. According to staff, she boosts the energy levels of residents through interaction and play. Her presence reduces stress and agitation through physical interaction including touch and petting. As with most dogs, she is great company and that results in combatting loneliness. Inevitably she becomes a shared focus for the residents and acts as a shared source of fun and conversation. 

Staff at the facility have seen the delight that follows her visits and regularly observe how her presence allows residents to reminisce about their own pets from former years. True to her name, she allows all around her to blossom.