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 Elderly enjoy animal therapy with exotic menagerie

Elderly enjoy animal therapy with exotic menagerie

By 4th October, 2022 Press Releases No Comments

SNAKES, a tortoise, and an iguana were among the exotic creatures visiting elderly residents at a Cheshire care home for an animal therapy session.

Animal handling company KC Exotics Mobile Zoo brought their menagerie to Halton View Care Home, on Sadler Street, Widnes.

Alongside the cold-blooded creatures, residents also met a barn owl, an albino hedgehog, a meercat, guinea pig, pigmy squirrel, and more.

Animal therapy sessions aim to provide stimulation and friendship to those living at residential care homes, as well tackling feelings of loneliness and improving general wellbeing.

Maureen McKeon, 82, a resident at Halton View Care Home, said: “I feel very relaxed when I’m stroking the animals.”

Fellow resident Lilly Smith, 93, was surprised to see the variety of creatures brought in by the zoo. She said: “I can’t believe all the different animals.”

Vera Murty, 95, said: “I just love animals and really enjoy holding all of them. I adored the baby squirrels and Ozzy the owl was lovely.”

Hugh Rone, 76, specifically requested snakes for the session, which he enjoyed being draped over his shoulders. He said: “I took pictures holding each animal so I could tell my daughters I went to the zoo. It was a brilliant afternoon.”

Rachel Barry, home manager at Halton View Care Home, said: “You only have to watch the residents with the animals to see how beneficial these sorts of therapy sessions are.

“Particularly for those with dementia, as it can bring back fond memories, which has a positive impact on stress and anxiety.

“Everyone was very excited when the animals got here and the smiles on the residents’ faces said it all. It’s not every day they get a visit from snakes, owls, tortoises, and other creatures.”

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