Henry brings joy to Karana residents

Henry might be a soft toy rabbit at Baptcare's Karana Community, but is the most loveable, cheeky and sociable soft toy rabbit you will ever meet!

He sits in the office of Chaplain Samantha Lo, and directs her office when she is not around!

"The residents love him and I even receive photos of Henry all around the facility when he's posing, sitting at front reception and playing around!" Samantha said. Initially given to Samantha by a resident, Henry now resides at Karana and helps in every situation that he can.

"Henry is particularly helpful with the residents who have been diagnosed with dementia. He sits there as I play the harp and even has a cuddle with the residents when they are anxious and worked up," Samantha said.

Henry stands in replacement of words for many patients with dementia, and is something that represents soothing, calm and relaxing times, allowing many residents who no longer identify with words, to return to a relaxed state after a cuddle with Henry. Samantha cannot comment on Henry's actions when she isn't around, however said that he sneakily tends to head over to reception far too often.

"He is 100 percent not allowed to go anywhere near the bell at reception!" Samantha said as she laughed. Henry also provides a pathway for children to understand what is happening to their grandparents when they come to visit, sitting in on conversations between the children and their parents showing them photos of himself in a similar situation to that of their grandparent.

Samantha even composed a book of photos and Henry's story of how he came to be part of the Karana family. "The book is dedicated to a resident who is no longer with us and, unfortunately wasn't able to see the completion of the story. Henry was even invited to her funeral where he sat right up the front with the residents' own bear!" Samantha added.

Henry provides a beautiful avenue to aid and get through to people, despite his cheeky nature and extravagant adventures around the facility. ​Samantha says he is fantastic for a laugh for both the residents and the staff as well.

"Henry really helps on a tough day and gives the staff a bit of levity to get through it!" she said.

"Residents need fun and laughter in their life, no matter their age, and crave playful and fun times," Samantha added.

We can't wait to hear more stories from Henry and the great effect he's having on the residents at Karana!

Contact: Annemarie Watt

Phone: 0428 063 664