A miniature four-legged friend dropped into a Sanctuary Care home in Exmouth for a spot of animal therapy.
William, a Mediterranean Miniature donkey, which is the size of a Great Dame dog, trotted along to visit residents and the team at Fernihurst Nursing Home in Douglas Avenue.
A beautiful donkey with a gentle nature
The 13-year-old, who is from The Donkey Sanctuary in Sidmouth, was a popular visitor to the home – he had such a gentle nature and loved meeting new people.
89-year-old resident Pamela Palmer said of William: “Aren’t you beautiful?” She continued: “He was lovely and soft.”
The Sanctuary Care home’s activities leader Hazel Tribble added: “Our residents adore it when our friends from The Donkey Sanctuary come to visit, the donkeys are always very gentle and our residents find it very therapeutic when stroking them.
“Animal visits also bring back wonderful memories for our residents as we have many animal lovers within the home.”
Interacting with animals is becoming increasing recognised as a therapeutic intervention for care home residents, including those living with dementia, as they provide a great source of comfort, companionship and motivation.
Among other benefits, stroking them can reduce blood pressure, have a calming effect on the mind and ease anxiety.
Hazel continued: “Our residents’ faces light up when they see the donkeys and like all the activities we plan in our home, these visits are incredibly beneficial for their wellbeing.”
About The Donkey Sanctuary
The Donkey Sanctuary is a registered charity that has sanctuaries across Europe. The charity cares for donkeys that have been rescued from cruelty and also those that have been brought in by their owners, who are no longer able to care for them because of financial hardship.
The donkeys are primarily used for riding therapy for children with additional needs but also as animal therapy for older people in care homes, particularly those living with dementia.