Meet Masie. She is a therapy dog that visits Afford’s Caboolture Hub four days a week. Even though she has four legs and fur, Maisie is considered a valuable member of the Caboolture Hub community.
The sound of her soft paws walking through the doors and the swoop of her wagging tail are always welcome sounds for customers at the hub. Maisie is a stress reliever, confidant and a friend for many customers at Caboolture.
Maisie is the fur-kid to Afford Support Coordinator, Annette. She, along with other support coordinators, allied health staff, lifestyle centre staff and customers share the Caboolture Hub to bring whole-of-life disability supports for people in the community.
For such a little companion, Maisie makes a big impact at the Caboolture Hub. As a therapy dog, her patient nature is something that soothes people around her.
You’ll often find Maisie sitting next to a customer who wants some warm cuddles and patting time. She also sits in on some customer psychology sessions to help calm individuals when they feel distressed. On sunny days, customers who attend lifestyle centre are keen to take Maisie out for a walk and in turn, get some fresh air and exercise themselves.
Kira, Jordan, Josh, Sarah and Hayley enjoy the tactile sensation of patting Maisie. Her soft, wool-like fur is a joy to run your hands through. Some customers pat Maisie to help them self-regulate their emotions.
“Maisie is an important therapy partner for our customers. She will often sit with a customer who is finding something particularly challenging. After a little time with Maisie, customers can calm themselves and can refocus to move onto the next activity,” said Sarah, Team Leader at Caboolture Hub.
“We have some customers who don’t want to leave in the afternoon, so Maisie steps in and customers walk Maisie on her lead out to the Afford van. Having Maisie as a focal point helps them with the end of day transition.”
“Maisie has been particularly valuable during COVID. When we needed to stay indoors because of restrictions, having her around kept things feeling ‘normal’ for customers at the hub.”
Find out more about how Afford is integrating unique, sensory and engaging supports for customers in lifestyle centres across Australia.