There are over 100 donkeys and horses at the Flicker Donkey Sanctuary, all of which have been rescued from abuse, neglect and abandonment.
“It was wonderful to see how much the animals meant to them and to hear about the memories they brought back,” said Carina Stone, carer at Trevern. “We are trying to bring more animals into contact with the people living here, as, along with music, they have a way of reaching the deeper part of someone, bringing back the person hidden by their illness.”
The staff often invite various trained animals into Trevern, including ducklings, giant rabbits and even donkeys from the Flicker Donkey Sanctuary.
Many of the residents have a wonderful time stroking and petting the animals, who can be calming and soft to touch. It can also remind them of their younger days, especially if they worked on farms or kept animals themselves.
Animal therapy can be particularly beneficial for people who struggle to communicate, as it can provide a social interaction that requires no words.
Earlier in the year, staff and residents also celebrated Dame Vera Lynn’s 100th birthday with a tea party in her honour. The lounge was packed with residents, relatives and friends, enjoying a sing-along by local singer Kelly Carswell, who sang a mix of songs from Dame Vera Lynn and other favourites from the era.
“Everyone loved her warm personality and great vocals,” said Carina. “Her songs caught the attention even of those who have the most difficulty communicating.”