Woodlands House in Southampton excitedly welcomed two Alpacas to meet and greet the residents.
Standing one metre tall, Alpacas originate from regions of South America including Peru, Chile and Bolivia. During the visit, the furry creatures met the 36 residents for a close-up interactive meet and greet session. The two huacaya alpaca called Midnight Prince and Casper had travelled from the Shaftsbury based organisation Alpaca Adventure.
The gentle and easy to handle creatures are known to be intelligent and easily trained, making them the perfect visitors for a care home, which can have multiple benefits:
• Interaction with an unusual and different species as a unique experience
• Enhance wellbeing to stimulate a positive mood and mindset
• Learning new facts and information about the creatures
• New sensory experiences to touch and examine animals closely
• Create conversations and interactions to ask questions.
Wendy Williams, from Alpaca Adventure, says: "We work with animals to provide experiences to make people's lives better. Animals hold a special place in many people’s hearts and lives, and there is compelling evidence that interacting with animals can be beneficial to the physical, social and emotional wellbeing of those with dementia.
"Our work in the care sector is designed to provide new opportunities to gain knowledge. During our visit to Woodlands House the residents had bright smiles so it’s clear they enjoyed meeting Casper and Midnight Prince.
Lisa Sellens, who is the general manager of the care home, says: "We decided to invite Wendy and her Alpacas to see us because we felt that it would be a new and different experience for our residents.
We firmly believe that you are never too old to learn something new and our residents are always curious and excited to interact and learn more about animals and it truly put a smile on the their faces!"