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Pets make rest home feel like home
Huntleigh Home resident Helen Drake.
Huntleigh Home resident Helen Drake.

Some people may think that moving to a rest home or retirement village means leaving your beloved pets behind, but this isn’t true at Enliven homes and villages.

As an animal lover, Helen Drake, resident of Huntleigh Home in Karori and former resident of Huntleigh Apartments, says the inclusion of pets is something she adores.

“I love that they allow animals here. The home has cats and volunteers visit with dogs all the time. I’m spoilt. I love animals and some of the dog owners make special trips to see me,” says Helen.

Helen knows the difference contact with animals can make to a person’s livelihood having been a volunteer for the SPCA herself.

“I was a volunteer with the SPCA doing pet therapy, like what they do here. I started out in the hospital in the children’s ward taking dogs around to see the children,” says Helen.

“It’s amazing what being around animals can do. Just to see their faces light up was lovely.”

Before moving to Huntleigh Home in 2011 Helen was living at the neighbouring Huntleigh Apartments with her cat, which she says meant her transition into care was easy.

“I was living in Huntleigh Apartments next door which was really nice, but I was having trouble walking and had a couple of operations so they said I could move to the home,” Helen explains.

“I was already familiar with the home so it was an easy move for me and my cat came here to live too. I like it here. I like the staff and I like the people. I’m happy here.”

Huntleigh Home manager Suzanne Simpson explains that pets are an integral part of Enliven’s philosophy of care, the Eden Alternative.

“Having regular contact with animals can really make a difference to a person’s quality of life and they’re welcome at all Enliven homes because of this,” says Suzanne.

“The elders here who love animals are regularly visited by SPCA volunteers with puppies and kittens in tow, and we have cats and birds that live here. It’s about making it feel like home.”

Huntleigh Home and Apartments is operated by Enliven, part of the not-for-profit organisation Presbyterian Support Central and offers independent retirement living, rest home and hospital care, as well as short term respite and health recovery care.

For more information free phone 0508 ENLIVEN (that’s 0508 36 54 83) or click here.

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