HCN News & Notes

Pet Ambassador Brings Comfort, Companionship to East Village Place

EAST LONGMEADOW — Pet Partners has named April 30 National Pet Therapy Day to recognize all of the exceptional therapy animals who partner with their human companions to bring comfort and healing to those in need. However, Bentley the dog thinks it’s just another great day of affectionate cuddles at East Village Place, an assisted-living and memory-care community in East Longmeadow.

Bentley and his human, Mike Smist, visit East Village Place twice a day. Bentley brings joy to all of the pet-loving residents who live there. “Residents aren’t the only ones who look forward to Bentley’s daily visits,” said Jessica Szczepanek, marketing director. “He brightens our workday too.”

Joy may not be the only benefit Bentley provides. Research studies have found that pets can reduce stress and anxiety, precursors to heart disease.

“Dogs and companion animals provide affection and unconditional love, and we appreciate Mike and Bentley’s regular visits,” said Pam Skiba, executive director. “He brings a smile to everyone’s face and has a wonderful, calming effect on people.”

Located at 50 Benton Dr. in East Longmeadow, Massachusetts, East Village Place offers assisted living and two levels of memory care. For more information, call (413) 525-8150 or visit www.watermarkcommunities.com/eastvillageplace.

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