Local firms support Dementia Friendly to help reconnect the elderly


We have all been affected by the pandemic, feeling a sense of isolation and loneliness at being cut off from family and friends, but this is especially so for the elderly and vulnerable in care homes, especially those living with dementia.

Jenny Cottrell of Porter Dodson and Chloe Hooper of Symonds & Sampson with Robopets Porter and Sampson

Last autumn, Jenny Cottrell, solicitor with Porter Dodson in Sturminster Newton, nominated Newstone House in Sturminster (where her mother is a resident) to receive one of Dementia Friendly Gillingham’s giveaway robotic cats.  She wasn’t successful on that occasion. Then Anne Kings (the organiser) contacted her and she was introduced to Sue Reader of Marnhull.  She also wanted to donate a cat in memory of her late mother Rosemary Joyceand the two were paired up.  It seemed worth asking Porter Dodson and Symonds & Sampson, Estate Agents, Chartered Surveyors and Auctioneers if they would like to join in and they both readily agreed to get involved and donate a dog each to accompany the two cats”.

The result is that both Newstone House and Nazareth Lodge will each receive a feline and canine friend for their residents.  The benefits for the residents are well-established, especially when (pre-restrictions) both homes were regularly visited by pets and all kinds of other creatures – “I met two donkeys leaving the lift once in Newstone” comments Jenny.

Mark Lewis of Symonds & Sampson said “The long-established firm of chartered surveyors, Symonds & Sampson, have bought a Robo pet and will be donating it to residents in a dementia home in Sturminster Newton. We are delighted to be involved in this initiative with regional law firm, Porter Dodson. Their pet is called Porter and ours, of course, is Sampson!”

Chloe Hooper who works as a residential negotiator at Symonds & Sampson says “The Robotic Companion Pets are hugely beneficial for people living with dementia, people with Parkinson’s, children with special needs, the elderly, and anybody suffering from mental health issues.  Patients in NHS dementia wards who had previously been anxious, frightened, and who tended to wander, suddenly calm down, and start to interact with their new companion. The pressure taken off staff was immediate and made them feel good too.”

Richard Baker, Head of the Family Team and CSR Partner at Porter Dodson, said: “Porter Dodson is committed to putting the needs of clients and the local community first. During what has been a particularly challenging time for families, especially for those with loved ones in care homes, we are delighted to be supporting this initiative and hope that both Porter and Sampson bring much joy to those they come into contact with. “

By: Porter Dodson


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