A LITTLE dog named Sox has been putting a smile on the faces of residents at Queen Elizabeth Court care home in Llandudno.

Therapy dog Sox, which is a six year old cockapoo, has visited the Home every week over the past 12 months and staff say she has had a profound effect on the health and wellbeing of their residents.

Sox visits with her owner Jayne Halfpenny, of Therapy Dogs Nationwide, a charity run by volunteers. Sox goes from room to room at the Home, so that residents can stroke her and spend time with her.

The benefits of therapy dogs for older people are immense. Research has shown that having something to pet or touch can result in lower blood pressure, normal heart rate and reduced stress. Pets provide emotional stability during stressful situations, helping to reduce anxiety and depression.

Sox’s visits have also proved to be wonderful for residents at the Home who have dementia as she helps to spark conversation and reminiscence.

Elaine Jones, Clinical Lead at Queen Elizabeth Court, said: “Sox’s visits mean so much to our residents. Just her coming into a room brightens the day in an instant. For one lady, who had owned dogs all her life, Sox’s visits have made an enormous difference to how she feels. Her face just lights up when he arrives at the Home. It’s fair to say that the effect of Sox’s regular visits on our residents’ mental health and wellbeing is quite profound.”

Jayne Halfpenny, of Therapy Dogs Nationwide, said: “It’s really satisfying to be able to bring Sox to Queen Elizabeth Court and to witness the effect she has on the residents. She really is a special little dog and I’m very proud of her.”

RMBI Home Queen Elizabeth Court is run by RMBI Care Co., part of the Masonic Charitable Foundation.