A West Midlands care home has recently called upon the powers of animal therapy — partnering with a local pony experience provider to bring joy and comfort to its bed-bound residents.
Willow Rose Care Home, in Willenhall, recently welcomed Moomin and Lollipop from local equine service Lollipop Pony Parties — two intuitive Shetland ponies who won the hearts of both residents and staff with their gentle, affectionate temperament.
Residents were given the opportunity to interact with the horses throughout the day, with plenty of petting and selfies on offer. The visit served not only as an exciting new activity for the home, but also as a boost to the emotional wellbeing of many residents who have endured the isolation of lockdown and the hardships that come with this.
The professionally trained therapy horses were escorted around residents’ rooms and spent time in the communal lounge areas to ensure everyone had an opportunity to interact with them, regardless of their physical condition.
Animal therapy within the care environment is proven to lower anxiety and stress levels, whilst also stimulating memory and endorphins. Alongside this, it also contributes to the sense of community within the home — something that is a priority at Willow Rose.
Willow Rose forms part of the Macc Care group, a luxury collection of care homes based near Birmingham and Wolverhampton. This inclusive and diverse activity echoes the care culture of the group, which places meaningful connections and diverse experiences at the heart of its offering.
Debbie Pugh, Home Manager at Willow Rose, said: “Having Moomin and Lollipop visit the home was an amazing experience for all our residents and seeing all those smiling faces is something we’ll never forget. The past two years have been a challenge for everyone at Willow Rose and the loving, intuitive nature of the ponies helped provide a welcome break from the turbulence of the pandemic.”
Debbie continued: “Many of our bed-bound residents struggle to engage with traditional care home activities, however, the nature of this visit meant that the ponies could be brought directly to their bedside. This offered an empowering experience for these residents and further highlighted the impact animal therapy can have on someone’s life. By popular demand, we will definitely invite Moomin, Lollipop and their amazing handlers back to Willow Rose in the future. In the meantime, we will enjoy looking back over the amazing images captured and relive the joy of the day.”