Residents at The Chanters were pleased to meet their ‘neigh-bour’ Splodge the horse when he paid a special visit to the Atherton care home.
The spotty stead is owned by care assistant Laura, who brought along Splodge to the home to meet residents, several of whom are horse racing fans and follow the results on the TV. One resident, Eileen, was even a secretary for the Horse of the Year Show during the 1970s and 1980s.
After lots of apples, strokes, and questions about the price of Splodge’s shoes, he and Laura rode off into the sunset – but not without promising that there will be future visits.
The visit is the latest addition to the activities in the home, which is part of Larchwood Care and is currently managed by Healthcare Management Solutions. Other regular activities include sitting exercises, bingo, quizzes and, in pre-lockdown times, visits from entertainers and trips to local tourist attractions.
Lyndsey McBride, activities coordinator at The Chanters, said: “It was fantastic to have Splodge visit. Once the residents found out that Laura and her friend kept their horses nearby, they were very keen to meet them. We’ve had quite a few dogs visit the home and it’s always great to see how much everyone’s spirits lift when there’s an animal to dote over, so we thought ‘why not!’.
“For those living with dementia, spending time with animals can be really beneficial. Because animals are so friendly, and the visits are always so much fun, it can have a wonderfully calming effect and increase social interaction.
“Splodge’s visit sparked all kinds of memories, and it was great to hear the residents’ stories. We’ve definitely not seen the last of him. A few brave people have even volunteered to muck out the stables!”