Nursing Home Visits
The Wooly Mobile Farm has been engaging with nursing homes over the past six years. The farm visits residents with a wide range of animals. Among those who regularly visit nursing homes are small furries, poultry, and larger farm animals such as pigs, sheep, goats, and llamas.
How does it work?
Wooly Farm sets up in the nursing home residents’ day room to facilitate the petting as well as grooming of the smaller animals. The bigger animals are brought in at the end of the event to meet everyone.
Many nursing home residents are from farming backgrounds and visits from the animals facilitates reminiscing about their time spent on their family farms. Other residents simply entertain a huge love of animals, and have many stories to regale everyone with. For residents with Alzheimer’s, the animals bring joyful reactions, with sensory contact evoking a positive reaction. Residents find it very therapeutic and enjoyable to pet and hold the bunnies and chicks. Additionally, nursing homes are very proactive in engaging with Wooly Farm, and specialise in facilitating the experience the visit of the farm can bring to residents.
A recent visit to New Park Nursing Home, The Ward, proved to be a great success. Christine, the activities coordinator, quoted in her Facebook message
“Lovely staff and adorable animals. This year we got to meet 3 week old chicks, 10 day old lambs, and month old bunnies. Needless to say everyone had a ball petting, cuddling, and learning about these lovely animals.”
One of the many advantages of having the mobile visit in Nursing Homes is that it can generate excitement amongst the youth and elderly alike. Nursing homes invite residents relatives for the Farm’s visit. Grandchildren and grandparents enjoy wonderful interaction with each other and the animals, and create special memories. The pet therapy is effective as it brings people of all ages together, and memories of the visits are fun and ever-lasting.
Animal Fostering Initiative
A new initiative has been set up between Riverside Nursing Home, St. Margaret’s, and Wooly Farm. Riverside is home to 50 residents and they had a small unused paddock on their grounds. Wooly Farm set them up with sheep and lambs to graze and a coop with hens. Wooly Wards endeavour to bring a sense of rural life to the doorstep of nursing homes and their residents, reinforcing the strong sense of Riverside being their home. The residents will also be taking care of the hens, and undertake regular checks for eggs as part of Riverside’s wellbeing programme.