Dogs meet elderly folks in Toa Payoh to spread pawsitive vibes

Warning: wholesome content ahead.

Emily Williams | February 02, 2024, 05:42 PM



Dogs are known as Man's best friend for a reason.

They're loving, loyal, emotional, smart, and not to mention, damn cute!

A new programme from Animal Assisted Interactions Singapore (AAISG) connects these furry companions with the elderly to help relieve loneliness and brighten their day.

FYI, it's adorable.

The "pawsome" program

AAISG has started running a new programme called Canine Partners.

The beneficiaries of the first run of Canine Partners were seniors in Toa Payoh who attend Care Corner programmes.

Over the last two months, these seniors interacted with their canine acquaintances and played games with them.

Some even had the chance to complete an obstacle course with their furry buddies.

A handler sits between to residents of Care Corner with a dog. Image from Temasek Foundation's Facebook page.

Because of the fragility of the residents at Care Corner centres, only dogs with a calm disposition are involved in the programme.

"Canine assisted interventions" have been proven to improve seniors' moods and reduce depressive symptoms, anxiety, and loneliness.

Supported with initial funding from the Temasek Foundation

AAISG's programme is made possible thanks to an initial seed funding from Temasek Foundation's OSCAR Fund.

The OSCAR Fund supports meaningful, ground-up initiatives that uplift vulnerable people.

It is an extension of the Oscar@Sg Fund, previously administered by Temasek Trust.

woman in wheelchair alongside pup on a leash as part of the programme. Studies have proven pups can brighten seniors' day. Image from Temasek Foundation's Facebook page.

Announcing the collaboration with AAISG on Facebook, the Foundation said it was a great way to foster "heartwarming moments" in the community.

They wrote:

"No initiative is too small to make a paws-itive impact."

AAISG founder Adele Lau was grateful for the support provided by the Temasek Foundation.

Lau said on AAISG's Instagram page:

"Other than providing the funding for us to run the programme for Care Corner, they also linked us up with a lot of great community partners, brought in tri-sector associates, gave us a lot of advice from a business perspective, [and] also like how to achieve the best social good that we can get with what we have."

AAISG started in 2022

Lau founded the the social enterprise out of her own love of animals.

a group of residents and handlers with some of the dogs. Cute alert! Image from Temasek Foundation's Facebook page.

She told AAISG's Instagram followers:

"I feel that particularly dogs they have the ability to make you feel better, make you feel comforted, and they also have the ability to bring people together."

It is Singapore's first social enterprise that specialises in animal-assisted interactions and interventions.

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Top image from Temasek Foundation's Facebook page