The adorable photos show how Dementia sufferers at a care home who cannot see relatives were “overjoyed” by a morale-boosting visit from a miniature horse.
Residents at a Rosevale Care Home in York, “benefit greatly” from pet therapy, which allows them to interact with the animal, staff said.
Sarah Fearn, lifestyle and activities co-ordinator at the home, said many residents who usually spent a lot of time in their rooms interacted with others and stroked the horse.
Sarah said that around 90 percent of residents at the home suffer from Dementia and they benefit from pet therapy as it allows them to express themselves and interact with the animals.
She said: “We put things like this on all the the time, different pets every month come into the care home.
“The home is really supportive of these things.
“Pet therapy is so important to the care home as it brings back memories for residents and it allows people to express themselves in ways they probably wouldn’t otherwise.
“Its really good for people with dementia.
“We had a lady who was really upset ten minutes before, she was crying, we took the horse to her and within minutes she was so happy.
“Even the residents who are quiet and don’t mingle, they talked to the other people. It was really lovely.
“Nearly all of our residents have dementia, I would say 90 percent of our residents suffer from it, so for them something like this is vital.”
The miniature horse, a ten-year-old male named Monet, spent around an hour in the home in total.
The home has not had a Covid case throughout the pandemic, but due to restrictions, residents have only been able to see families through a glass screen in the garden and visits have been restricted.
Sarah said regular interactions with animals helps residents to express their emotions which would otherwise be suppressed.
She added: “We followed all the procedures, we’ve never had a case of Covid.
“But we’ve only been allowed people in the garden and that applies when animal handlers bring pets in too.
“I spoke to Katie from K and L ponies who allowed us to use Monet and she said I could take him into the home on my own.
“I took him into the home and the bedrooms and the joy he brought to residents was amazing.
“They’re missing their families and friends.
“We have a hut in our garden so people can have visitors, but it is through a glass window,its not the same as a human touch.
“People usually bring their pets in when they come to visit and obviously they haven’t been able to do that either.
“It was extra special it was just nice to see so many smiley faces during these tough times.”