Not to be sniffed at - Care home residents find out about the important work of Medical Detection Dogs

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Staff and residents at Barchester Hall Park Care Home in Bulwell were treated to an insightful talk about Medical Detection Dogs hosted by Emilia Dowse who works as a Regional Volunteer and Fundraising Coordinator for the charity.

Medical Detection Dogs train dogs to detect the odour of illnesses with the aim of developing faster, more efficient and less invasive treatments for patients.

The charity is at the forefront of research into the fight against cancer and other life-threatening diseases, including Parkinson’s disease and bacterial infections.

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Their Bio Detection Dogs are trained to find odours in samples such as breath and sweat whereas their Medical Alert Dogs are trained to assist people managing complex, life-threatening conditions including Type 1 diabetes, POTS and severe allergies, by alerting them to an oncoming medical emergency. The work of all these dogs has the potential to benefit millions of people.

Medical Detection DogMedical Detection Dog
Medical Detection Dog

Emilia took the residents on a fascinating journey to discover how the organisation began training dogs to support people with complex health conditions, saving their lives on a daily basis. Using their amazing sense of smell, these dogs can identify odour changes emitted prior to an episode and alert the person to take preventative action. The residents were introduced to some wonderful dogs and the science behind the sniff.

Emilia said: “It was lovely to be able to share the vital work we do with the Barchester residents. We were so happy to be able to tell the residents all about our brilliant dogs and talk about how we train them to be the lifesavers they are.”

Bex Vernon, Resident Experience Coordinator for Barchester Healthcare, commented: “We are excited to work with amazing organisations like Medical Detection Dogs to bring a wide range of fantastic experiences into our homes for all to enjoy, this talk was particularly popular with our residents because it provided such a great opportunity to see lots of gorgeous dogs up close and learn all about how Medical Detection Dogs trains them.

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“Our varied life enrichment programme keeps residents active and socially connected, providing a daily choice of engaging physical, mental and spiritual activities tailored to residents’ interests and abilities,” Bex added.

General Manager, Jodie Rakhra said: “All our residents love animals so we were delighted to be able to find out about all the clever dogs and how they work, the pups are all such characters. We had so many questions, it really was a wonderful experience for all our canine-loving residents.”

Barchester Hall Park Care Home is run by Barchester Healthcare, one of the UK’s largest care providers, which is committed to delivering high-quality care across its care homes and hospitals. Hall Park provides dementia care, residential care, respite care and short stay.

For more information please contact Jodie Rakhra, General Manager at Hall Park Care Home on: 01159 758750or [email protected].

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