Care home’s animal fun

Brenda Banks with Squirt the Bosc monitor lizard.
Brenda Banks with Squirt the Bosc monitor lizard.
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Animal-loving residents of a Cramlington care home were thrilled to receive some special guests as part on an on-going programme of animal therapy at the home.

Astor Court and Lodge View Care Home, which offers residential, nursing care and specialist dementia care for the elderly, welcomed a visit from the Zoolab mobile zoo, which brought in a selection of weird and wonderful creatures as part of a sensory animal therapy session at the home.

Residents proved they were wild about animals, enjoying stroking and handling them and finding out more about the creatures. As part of the workshop, residents had the chance to look at, hold and learn about a variety of wildlife, from giant millipedes to snakes and lizards.

The visit was the latest in an on-going programme of animal therapy at Astor Court and Lodge View, which has included sessions featuring a mix of domestic and exotic animals, from miniature horses, dogs, rabbits and guinea pigs through to giant snails and spiders.

Animal Assisted Therapy, as well as being a lot of fun, has been shown to have psychological benefits particularly for those with dementia. The physical contact with the animals is therapeutic and helps to reduce stress and form emotional connections.

Richard Dobinson, Activities Coordinator at Astor Court and Lodge View, said: “It was a really entertaining afternoon for all involved. As well as being fun and interesting, animal therapy has been shown to have benefits for psychological health and social well-being.

“Our residents thoroughly enjoyed interacting with the exotic creatures, while finding out all about them too. Many of our residents love animals so our animal therapy visits and workshops are always very popular.”