Woodlands House in Southampton excitedly welcomed 2 Alpacas in to the residential care home to meet and greet the residents.
Standing at one metre in height, Alpacas originate from regions of South America including Peru, Chile and Bolivia, and during the first time visit the furry creatures met the 36 residents for a close-up interactive meet and greet session.
The two huacaya alpaca called ‘Midnight Prince’ and ‘Casper’ visited the home for a one-hour interactive session, having travelled from the Shaftsbury based organisation; Alpaca Adventure.
The gentle and easy to handle creatures are known to be intelligent and easily trained, making them the perfect visitor for a care home.
This activity may be perceived as an unusual approach for a care home but there are multiple benefits:
• Interaction with an unusual and different species as a unique experience
• Enhance wellbeing to stimulate a positive mood and mindset
• Learning new facts and information about the creatures
• New sensory experiences to touch and examine animals closely
• Create conversations and interactions to ask questions
A small number of residents living with dementia can experience memory loss, poor concentration and feelings of disorientation and confusion so the animal therapy visit is a welcomed activity at the care home on Woodlands Road.
It’s not just the residents who benefit from the interaction; alpacas are a herd animal and will become stressed if kept alone even for short periods, so the social occasion equally befitted them.
Wendy Williams is from Alpaca Adventure said : “We work with animals to provide experiences to make people’s lives better. Animals hold a special place in many people’s hearts and lives, and there is compelling evidence from clinical and laboratory studies that interacting with animals can be beneficial to the physical, social and emotional well-being of those with dementia.
“Our work in the care sector is designed to provide new opportunities to gain knowledge. During our visit to Woodlands House the residents had bright smiles so it’s clear they enjoyed meeting Casper and Midnight Prince.”
The care provided at the Southampton care home is underpinned by the core values of care, comfort and companionship. The welcoming and comfortable home is proudly led by a fully-trained, compassionate and caring team, who strive to make a positive difference to the quality of life for those who call Woodlands House, ‘home’.
Lisa Sellens, General Manager of the care home commented; “We decided to invite Wendy and her Alpacas to see us because we felt that it would be a new & different experience for our residents.
“We firmly believe that you are never too old to learn something new and our residents are always curious and excited to interact and learn more about animals and it truly put a smile on the residents’ faces!”
The care home is an active part of the local community and goes to great lengths to make a positive difference to the lives of residents by planning stimulating activities.
A ‘Bake Off’ cake competition took place to judge the best sweet and savoury treats created by residents and staff.
An exciting Halloween party took place on Wednesday 31st October with a spooky supper and fun fancy dress.
The ‘Knitter Knatter’ weekly club created knitted hats for the neonatal department at the Princess Anne Hospital in Southampton this summer. The fun-loving care team decided to organise a trip to the Watercress Line Railway, for Richard, a railway enthusiast who enjoyed the visit to see the steam trains.