Animal magic is real tonic for care home residents


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A care organisation was transformed into a “magical menagerie” when some furry friends dropped in for a spot of animal therapy.

Residents at Pendine Park’s Highfield House, Bryn Bella and Cae Bryn care homes were delighted to welcome rabbits, gerbils, chinchillas, guinea pigs and even tortoises.

The session was organised by activities and enrichment co-ordinator Christine Lewis.

She said: “The response to these small furry animals has been amazing. It was a magical menagerie.

“It’s also a good stimulus as many residents had pets such as rabbits and guinea pigs when they were children and so it helps bring back memories.

“It’s certainly proved a very popular event and helped bring smiles to the faces of our residents which is so important. Many are already asking when we can do this again.”

Victoria Bowkett, of Bangor-on-Dee, who runs TherAmals and animal therapy business, was delighted to introduce residents to some small animals that they could handle and stroke.

She said: “There is no doubt in my mind that residents here today have gained a lot from the experience.

“All the animals I’ve brought along are friendly and are used to being handled and with the exception of the tortoises they are all furry and cuddly and that’ it seems, is important to these residents.”

Suzanne Lewis, 40, a resident of Bryn Bella, enjoyed stroking the guinea pigs as she had one as a pet when she was a child.

She said: “It was lovely, my sister and I had one each when we were young. We called them Pinky and Perky after the cartoon characters.

“Events like these are great and very relaxing. It’s been lovely seeing everyone happy and stroking the animals.”

Steve Ferrier, 58, a resident of Bryn Bella Care Home said: “I’ve really enjoyed it. I used to have rabbits when I was a kid and enjoyed stroking them. It’s been great and something I’d like to do more of to be honest.”

Gladys Cross, 85, who has been a resident of Highfield House for three years, added: “It’s been great. The animals are so cuddly and I’ve loved holding them and stroking them.”

Pendine Park director Gill Hughes said: “It was a truly wonderful occasion which brought a huge amount of joy to the residents who loved petting the lovely creatures brought in by Vicky.

“We always have a great deal of varied activities going on in all our care homes to ensure that we enrich lives of our residents and staff alike across the generations.”

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