Residents at a Bridgwater dementia-care home were delighted to spend the afternoon in the unusual company of a collection of exotic pets earlier this month.
The reptiles – brought to visit Avalon Nursing Home in Taunton Road by local exotic live animal specialists Kingston’s Exotics – included snakes, bearded dragons, tortoise, and guinea pigs.
Avalon’s activities organiser, Lisa Priddice, said: “There really was something to appeal to all our residents, and the event was also popular with visiting friends and relatives, including a number of small children.”
Resident Eric Munt said: “I never thought I would ever touch a snake, but I just did it and they are lovely.”
And resident Emily Balmforth said: “I loved joining in with the reptiles. It was right up my street and they are not scary. They were lovely to hold.”
The visit was part of an ongoing and varied programme of activities at Avalon, many of which are planned to have a sensory appeal.
Lisa Priddice said: “Strange to say, but holding snakes was especially rewarding: cold snake skin proved lovely to touch, and many of our residents said how much they liked it.”
The organisers ensured that all reptiles and mammals visiting Avalon were used to being handled by all ages and levels of experience.
Avalon Nursing Home is part of the west country-based Camelot Care group of specialist dementia care homes.