Residents at Hourigan House, the Minster Care-run residential home in Wigan, were delighted to spend a day getting up close and personal with a range of animals during a trip to Smithills Open Farm in Bolton.
During their visit, Hourigan House residents toured the farm and listened to an expert speak about its animal inhabitants. Throughout the tour, residents were also given the opportunity to feed, handle and pet a variety of the farm’s animals, including chicks, owls and pigs.
One resident, Betty Jones, even volunteered to hold a giant python measuring well over six feet long! Betty said of the experience: “I had a lovely day out and enjoyed seeing all the animals. It was something different, as it’s not every day you have the chance to hold a giant snake!”
Animal interaction has been proven to hold therapeutic benefits for older people and those living with dementia. By encouraging residents to ask questions while forming a bond with animals, animal interaction helps improve the social and emotional wellbeing of older people.
Hazel Jackson, Home Manager at Hourigan House, said: “We always try to hold a variety of activities to suit everyone’s interests, and trips like these are fantastic for bringing our residents together to socialise and experience something new. It’s not often people get the chance to feed and interact with farm animals, and rarer still to handle a giant python! Our residents thoroughly enjoyed the day out, and we look forward to visiting again in the future.”