RESIDENTS at the Oakdale care home in Poole enjoyed a visit from two special guests – Guinness and Greyfriars Rufus the alpacas. As part of a wellbeing session, Wendy Williams of Alpaca Adventure visited Oakdale care home in Kingsmill Road, Poole, where her alpacas spent time with residents, many of whom live with dementia.
The alpacas enjoy being around people and animal therapy is believed to have significant health benefits like lowering blood pressure and stress levels. This animal contact is also beneficial for those living with dementia, such as establishing eye contact and stretching to stroke them.
During their visit, Wendy and the alpacas spent time in the communal areas as well as individual bedrooms so that all residents, regardless of mobility, could enjoy meeting and stroking them.
Lauren Tompkins, Wellbeing Manager at Oakdale care home, said: “This was a unique opportunity for residents and staff to meet these beautiful animals and find out more about them. It proved to be a real success and fits very well with our regular activities and wellbeing-based approach to care at Oakdale.”
Rachel Dryden, Chief Executive, said: “It was wonderful to welcome Guinness and Jimmy into our home. It’s not every day you get to meet an alpaca and they are so gentle and sociable. The residents enjoy it and the staff do too.
“We encourage bringing animals into our care homes and love seeing the residents faces light up. It brings a whole new, fun and interesting dynamic to the home and is a very social activity.”