MINIATURE donkeys brought smiles to a Derbyshire care home – when they trotted in for an animal therapy session.
Hector and Tallulah, from The Wee Donkey Company, made a visit to Longmoor Lodge Care Home, on Longmoor Lane, Sandiacre, near Nottingham.
The tiny twosome were fed and stroked by residents in the garden and, for those with mobility issues, in their rooms during the therapy session.
Animal based activities have proven therapeutic benefits for residents, especially those living with dementia, including reducing feelings of stress and loneliness, easing anxiety, and improving overall wellbeing.
Among those to meet the donkeys was Frank Higginson, 81, who said: “Well this was a nice surprise. Can we keep them?”
Fellow resident Jill Barker, 68, said: “I can’t believe I had two donkeys in my room to come visit me.”
June Hibbard, 87, said: “These are beautiful. I’m so grateful for you arranging this.”
Dorothy Sankey, 98, said: “Can they come again? I’d love to see them soon.”
Nicola Robinson, who runs The Wee Donkey Company, said: “Research shows that spending time with donkeys has enormous therapeutic benefits. Donkeys are naturally calm animals. Their slow and steady presence gives a feeling of security and comfort to the poorly, the elderly and those feeling vulnerable or suffering from emotional difficulties.
“The visit to Longmoor Lodge Care Home was a great example of this, as residents loved meeting Hector and Tallulah, who love getting cuddles and affection from humans.”
Michelle King, home manager at Longmoor Lodge Care Home, said: “We’d like to thank Nicola from The Wee Donkey Company for bringing Hector and Tallulah to visit our residents.
“Everyone loved meeting the donkeys. The smiles on their faces were amazing to see.
“Animal therapy sessions, such as this one, can be highly beneficial for the elderly, with lots of positives that can last for hours, days, even weeks afterwards. They can lift their spirits and help tackle any negative feelings they may be struggling with, which in turn has a positive effect on their physical and mental health.
“We’d all love to welcome Hector and Tallulah back in future, so I’m sure we’ll see them again.”