Residents at specialist care village, Belong Warrington on Loushers Lane, celebrated the naming of their two ‘Therapy Project’ hens, Pepsi and Shirley, at a ceremony held in the village’s award winning dementia garden.
Interacting with hens has proven to hold therapeutic benefits for older people, as nurturing animals helps to reduce agitation, loneliness and depression that can be experienced by individuals with dementia.
Warrington’s Hen Therapy Project encourages older people to build a relationship with hens and take an active part in their upkeep. Residents are encouraged by the household staff to help with the hens’ feeding and cleaning schedule and have enjoyed decorating the coops.
The ceremony concluded a competition for which customers and staff members submitted name ideas for the hens that were rescued from a battery farm in June 2016. The competition was also used to raise funds to pay for an automatic door for the hen coop.
Marion Roberts, Belong Warrington resident, said: “It’s wonderful having the hens here, we really enjoy having a cuddle and all helping to look after them. They’ve got a lovely little house in the garden and lots of space to run about in.”
Lisa McLaughlin, activity co-ordinator at the village said: “The hens bring both interactive and therapy value to the residents and are very much a reminiscence ‘tool’ particularly for those who have kept hens in years gone by or have been involved with farms growing up. The word is spreading and the other Belong villages are now keen to adopt hens of their own too as they are so beneficial for the residents.”