Lakeview Rest Homes is a family business that has been operating in Lytham St Annes for the last 29 years, and there is one member of the family who performs a very special role in the care and support for residents – Button.
Button, who lives with Pete Wood, a Director at Lakeview, is a 3 year old Spaniel who is often called upon to join him at work. She is not afraid of working any hours, including Bank Holidays and weekends, to ensure residents, their family members and friends, and the care team all have a smile on their faces.
Whether it is cheering people up, aiding memory, making mischief or contributing the smooth management, Button is on hand. She even joins residents when they go for a spin in one of the homes vintage cars – and if there is a treat in store, be it an ice cream or a biscuit at a local cafe, she is there to share in the enjoyment.
Pete commented, “When I first acquired Button I intended just to keep her as a pet, but her friendly and delightful nature soon endeared her to everyone she met. So I took her with me to work, and she proved a huge success with our residents and staff alike.
‘I am always amazed by how such a livewire seems to sense the mood or strength of a resident when approaching them. Button does a walk-around, receives a pat or a treat before moving to the next person or settling down on the nearest lap. She is not shy about picking favourites and taking the best seat in the house, regardless of who is sitting there.’
‘We encouraged guests to bring their dogs when they visit as they bring a sense of fun and joy to people, and can be very therapeutic for residents.’
Visitor Pauline Mason added, “I regularly visit The Moorings and my first meeting with Button was quite overwhelming – ie she settled herself firmly on my lap, covered me with wet ‘kisses’ ….and gained a fan for life. She’s adorable! I was very moved when a resident, who was a little unsettled that day and commented that she “Wanted someone to love!” was immediately reassured and comforted when Buttons came to sit with her for a cuddle. In no time at all the lady was again content and settled, and went off quite happily for her lunch in the home’s restaurant.”
Resident, Joan Hunt, said, ‘I love it when Button comes in. She is so playful and she wants to take nothing but a pat and some love. That can’t be bad.’
‘She should be called Sunshine as she brightens any day’ remarked fellow resident Alice Whitaker.
General Manager, Gina Kidd is all too aware of the benefits of a dog like Button. She said, ‘Whilst everyone is delighted when Button turns up for work, there is a more serious aspect. Dogs can help reduce stress, lower blood pressure, increase social interaction and physical activity in older people. It’s not all good news though, as Button cannot be trusted to look after your biscuits!’