Care home residents in Chester get up close and personal with exotic creatures

Reporter:

Matt Warner

Residents at a Blacon care home took a walk on the wild side as they welcomed a range of special animal guests.

The exotic creatures were brought to Florence Grogan House by animal experience facilitators, Animal Oddities.

The encounter was organised by staff at the home on Shelley Road and saw residents come face to face with weird and wonderful creatures, including a giant African land snail, a tortoise and a guinea pig.

Staff and residents handled and petted the animals while they learned more about them, their natural habitats and their favourite foods.

Dorothy Peers, 83, quickly became fast friends with a cuddly guinea pig, while Margaret Coldrick, 74, got up close and personal with a tortoise.

Margaret, who used to work at Chester Zoo, said: “I have always had a keen interest in animals, so I thoroughly enjoyed the visit. I especially liked being able to touch and hold so many different creatures.”

Animal assisted therapy, where people interact with animals for therapeutic purposes, is widely recognised by health professionals to have both mental and physical health benefits for older people in a care setting.

Wendy Hope, home manager at Florence Grogan House, said: “Animal visits are an important part of the varied activities programme we have at Florence Grogan House.

“You could see everyone's faces just light up when they were given the chance to stroke the animals, and the experience proved especially captivating for our residents who live with dementia.

“The visit brought a lot of joy to our residents, and was a real talking point in the home for days after.”

Email:

matt.warner@nwn.co.uk

See full story in the Chester Leader

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