13th February 2018
Animal lovers at Archers Park in Sunderland recently enjoyed a visit from ‘Steve’s Animal Ark’, a locally-based exotic animal handling company.
Together with Activity Coordinator Paul Martin, an enthusiastic Steve exhibited his selection of invertebrates to the group, who were encouraged to look and, if they were brave enough, hold. The collection included giant snails, leeches, a tortoise, a corn snake, and various spiders.
One resident, Dorothy, particularly enjoyed handling the corn snake, with Dorothy commenting, “They are such docile creatures and it was really no bother to handle.”
The rest of the group however, stuck to only handling the insects, admiring the snake and spiders from afar.
Another resident, Mary commented, “I really liked the tortoise, I’ve never seen one in real life and didn’t realise quite how slow they actually are!”
The animal-handling session is part of a vibrant and varied activities programme at the home, led by Paul. He commented, “Any activity involving animals is guaranteed to generate interest, even when there is not a patch of fur in sight. Animals both offer sensory stimulation and encourage conversation, which is extremely beneficial to those living with dementia. Everyone who took part really enjoyed themselves, myself included, and were fascinated to learn about these curious creatures.”
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