Residents at Holcroft Grange, the Minster Care-run residential home in Warrington, enjoyed a morning of horsing around when they welcomed 18-year-old rescue donkey and old friend, Rusty, back into their home.
Rusty was invited to the home from the Donkey Sanctuary in Manchester, and a representative from the sanctuary spoke with staff and residents at the home about Rusty, his personality and his history as a working donkey. During the visit, residents also held a raffle to support the work of the Donkey Sanctuary and raised over £80.
Holcroft Grange has enjoyed a long relationship with the Donkey Sanctuary in Manchester, which takes in ill, neglected, and homeless donkeys and nurses them back to health. In 2015, Holcroft Grange adopted a donkey, Cocoa, from the sanctuary, and last year invited Rusty to visit the home for the first time.
Brenda Coleridge, a resident at Holcroft Grange, commented: “I enjoy the donkey coming so much, it’s fantastic to have him inside the home. I also love going to visit the donkeys at the sanctuary, it’s very beautiful.”
Studies have shown that regular animal interaction has a positive impact on mental health in older people. This effect is particularly pronounced in people living with conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.
Shirley Paton, Home Manager at Holcroft Grange, commented: “Everyone was so excited to see Rusty again, and as soon as he stepped through the door, you could see our residents’ faces just light up. Having Rusty come inside to interact with our residents who are less mobile has had such a positive effect, and the visit has been a major talking point in the home.”