Tuesday, September 1, 2009

HOTLR's Maris Gets New Home & New Job

It is hard to describe the happiness the Heart of Texas Lab volunteers feel each time one of our rescues is placed in their new forever home. While sometimes foster parents have a hard time letting go of a lost soul they helped to heal, the joy on the faces of a rescue's new family the day they get their new dog helps erase the sense of loss.

Maris, a pretty eight year old yellow girl, recently scored big with a new family of 15, and the happiness on the faces of her forever family was priceless. Maris is the newest resident of The Summit at Lakeway's Clare Bridge wing. The Summit at Lakeway is a Brookdale senior assisted living facility and yes, that's right, Maris has a whole wing all to herself. Maris (whose new name is Clare) is the test pilot for a new program that places Labradors in assisted living facilities for senior citizens. Clare lives at the facility 24/7 in a special wing dedicated to residents with Alzheimer's disease and dementia. The residents voted to make her a permanent resident agreeing that a yellow Labrador was the best color choice as she would be easier to see at night than a chocolate or black Lab.

Most of Clare's time will be spent working as social director of the Clare Bridge wing. Her job duties include socializing with all 15 residents and their human and animal guests, as well as making herself available for naps and overnights in the resident's rooms. She will also assist the nursing staff with visits to residents who may be under the weather and unable to attend the regular activities held daily throughout the wing. Clare is welcome in all areas of the wing including the residents' rooms, the den/library where seniors watch television or read, and participate in physical activites, as well as the courtyard outside. The only place that is considered off limits is the dining area where Clare may be tempted by too many good treats and soft hearts. Clare will also act as official mascot and resident monitor accompanying residents on trips outside of the facility.

Of course every hard-working employee deserves some time off and Clare will be treated no differently. Should Clare need a break in her duties, she has her own bed under a desk at the nurse's station where she has also stashed a couple of her favorite toys. She will also take occassional "weekend vacations" where she will overnight at the homes of the some of the facilities' employees. All in all, Clare is thrilled with her new home and her new occupation.

HOTLR would like to thank Paul Yanez, director of the Clare Bridge wing at the Summit at Lakeway and brainchild of this special program. We are hopeful that Clare's successful participation will open door's at other Brookdale assisted living facilities in the central Texas area and lead to more rescued Labradors joining these very special large families. To learn more about the Summit at Lakeway, please click here: http://www.brookdaleliving.com/the-summit-at-lakeway.aspx and to learn more about the Clare Bridge program, please click here: http://www.brookdaleliving.com/clare-bridge-alzheimers-dementia-care.aspx .

1 comment:

  1. What a wonderful story! It sounds like this will be great for Claire and for the residents of the facility.