Huge smiles were bought to the faces of residents living at a Leicester care home earlier this month, when they were surprised by a visit from two adorable alpacas.
The animals, namely Coco and Tufty, were special guests at Sanctuary Care’s Asra House earlier this month.
Residents were able to feed, walk, stroke and interact with them as part of an animal therapy session put on by the home, which sits in the city’s Belgrave area.
Asra House was rated ‘Outstanding’ by the Care Quality Commission in 2019, and specialises in looking after elderly residents with dementia and sensory impairments.
“This is the first time that we have had alpacas to visit, but it certainly won’t be the last. Everyone loved it – we were talking about our furry guests for days!” said Shabir Aswat, activities leader at Asra House , who organised the surprise.
“We are always looking for fun ideas to enrich our residents’ lives and create memorable experiences that they will really enjoy,” he added.
“It was heart-warming to see the joy that the animals brought to our residents, and to have their family, friends and even grandchildren join in on the festivities was wonderful.”
The animals were provided by Anstey Alpacas, which is passionate about taking them out into the community in order to meet people and provide therapeutic benefits.
Animal-assisted therapy within care homes is well-recognised for its positive physical and mental effects, particularly for people living with dementia. It can help to improve emotional, social, and cognitive abilities as we age and offers enjoyment and entertainment, giving residents a break in routine and easing any feelings of loneliness
“The warmth and smiles they bought to the faces of the residents, particularly those who are visually impaired was a joy to see,” owner Matt Rogers told the Leicester Times.
“One lady was sitting with an alpaca either side of her. An assistant helped to guide her hands onto him and I saw this huge smile spread across her face,” he went on to reveal.
“That’s the reason we do this. These animals are so special and it’s a joy to see the affect they have on people.”
To find out more about Anstey Alpacas, visit: https://ansteyalpacas.com/