There was animal mania in Oxfordshire and Chester this week, when Sanctuary Care residents received a visit from a rather unusual collection of animals.
Residents have been busy walking on the wild side during animal-handing assisted therapy shows from ZooLab and their collection of animals – from reptiles to small furry friends.
Getting up close, residents at Upton Dene Residential and Nursing Home in Caldecott Close held and stroked a snakes, frogs, spiders and many more fascinating creatures, as well as guinea pigs, rabbits and gerbils.
91-year-old resident Doreen Vardie said: “I really enjoyed seeing all the animals – it’s the second time they have visited so I was really looking forward to seeing them again and stroking them.”
Fellow resident Jean Capner, who is 87 years old, added: “I love the animals, I even talk to them!”
A trained ranger from the group was also on hand throughout the interactive session to answer any of the residents’ questions and share interesting facts.
Meanwhile in Oxfordshire, the team and residents at Wantage Nursing Home in Garston Lane also enjoyed snakes and frogs, but millipedes and lizards as well.
94-year-old resident Joy Towrie said: “It was lovely, I loved all the creatures!”
Fellow resident Daphne Hallett, who is 86 years old, enjoyed holding the snake. She said: “At first I was apprehensive but I really liked holding the snake, it was lovely and shiny!”
The Sanctuary Care home’s activities assistant Wendy Pill added: “Animal-assisted therapy is so important to our residents, it’s something they thoroughly enjoy as they genuinely love to see all the different creatures come and visit and not only that, they also find stroking and handling animals extremely therapeutic.”
ZooLab deliver imaginative animal-handling workshops to community groups across the UK. The animal-assisted therapy they deliver is proven to promote wellbeing and increase social participation, especially for people living with dementia.