Residents at a dementia care home have been treated to a visit from two ALPACAS.
Twinkle and Dude mingled with residents who were able to pet and cuddle the fluffy animals.
It’s believed that vulnerable residents benefit from the therapeutic qualities of alpacas which can help give them a feeling of trust and love for that individual.
The unusual arrival at Rosehill Residential Home in Aglionby near Carlisle, Cumbria., is part of a wider new form of therapy that is bridging the gap between generations.
The home enjoys a special relationship with Norman Street Primary School and schoolchildren meet regularly with the residents to share wisdom and fun.
Several pupils recently went along to the care home to see the alpacas, from Blencogo Farm, Wigton, and spend time with older residents in a bid to forge closer connections.
Adi Hussain, nine, said: “It’s amazing to be here. I love the Alpacas. They’re so soft and cute. They feel just like a pillow.
“I want to see them every day.”
Of the other work with the home, he added: “I really enjoy coming here to meet with the older people. We normally do arts, crafts and singing.”
Bea Beaty, also nine, added: “I think it is really nice to be here with the alpacas. They’re really fluffy and cute. Twinkle is my favourite.”
Therapy animals have been a big hit in recent years in all sorts of settings.
Kim Inglis Jeffries, of Blencogo Farm, said: “It’s absolutely amazing. It’s something we started doing last year. Twinkle [the white alpaca] is the star. She reacts so well to people.
“We work with a lot with adults who have dementia and also with children who have got autism. The reaction you get is amazing. The alpacas are so intuitive with vulnerable people.
“When we do experiences on our farm, very often a couple of our female alpacas will pick the most vulnerable in the group.
“They behave like a puppy; it’s really calming.”