Residents of Southampton care home go wild for animal therapy session

MOOD-ENHANCING ANIMALS: Residents enjoyed holding the creatures

Submitted by Bupa

A range of unusual animals brightened the day for care home residents at Knights’ Grove Bupa Care Home in Southampton for an animal therapy session like no other.

Taking the opportunity, residents spent an afternoon holding snakes, lizards and even centipedes.

Wild Science, a company that facilitates animal welfare activities, provided the animals and the interactive therapy session was orchestrated by Knights’ Grove Home Manager Annemary Tolici.

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The session was designed to support the well-being of residents, including those living with dementia who find the presence of animals mood-boosting.

Annemary said: “We love finding fun and innovative ways to lift the spirits of our residents and the visit from the Wild Science team was certainly a memorable visit.

“To see the residents’ faces light up when they held the animals was awesome – they were much more fearless than our staff.”

Pam, 80, is one of the residents who enjoyed the pet therapy session the most. She said: “The lizard was my favorite because I loved the feel of its skin texture – the whole day made me feel so happy and calm.”

Another resident, Barbara, said: “I loved how soft the snake was and found it so exciting to hold it. When I asked the orderlies if they wanted to hold it, I think they weren’t that enthusiastic.

Annemary added: “The pet therapy session was a wonderful activity as it made all of our residents so happy. We all loved every minute of it and, following the success of the session with staff and residents, we hope to plan more animal visits over the next few months.

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