A NEWPORT pensioner has spoken about the positive influence of his dog when visiting his wife in a nursing home.

Elwyn Parsons, 74, visits his wife Carolyn at Tregwilym Lodge nursing home in Rogerstone six days a week, along with Badger, his rehomed Jack Russell.

The retired army quartermaster sergeant, says being able to take Badger into the home has had a massive influence on his own life as well as the residents.

“He (Badger) doesn’t go directly up to people, but they call him and he’ll go and have a look around,” said Mr Parsons.


“If I go up to one of patients, he’ll follow, and they reach down and touch him. They love seeing a dog.

“I don’t think I could have had a dog if I couldn’t have taken him in the home. It’s marvellous that they allow it, they’ve always said that dogs can come in.

“Before him (Badger), all I would be doing was going from my chair down to the car and to the home where Carolyn is, getting out of the car and walking a few steps. Now I take three walks a day with him.”

Animal welfare charity Blue Cross currently works with a number of care homes on their pet friendly policies.

However, the charity is calling for more to be done to make accommodation more pet friendly, either by considering allowing residents to keep pets on site, allowing relatives to visit with pets, or to arrange visits which involve interaction with animals, such as Animal Assisted Therapy (AAT).

South Wales Argus:

(Elwyn Parsons has spoken about the positive impact of bringing his dog Badger to his wife's nursing home. Picture: Martin Phelps)

“Elwyn’s story is a powerful reminder of the companionship pets can provide and for some they are very much part of, or even their only, family," said Becky Thwaites, head of public affairs at Blue Cross.

“Countless numbers of older people are living in almost complete isolation and the prevalence of loneliness is increasing so we would like to see people being able to benefit from pets wherever possible.

“We would love to work with more care providers to enable them to put in place more pet friendly policies so more people can share the joy that an animal can bring, either as their own pet or a four-legged visitor.”