As part of a therapeutic activity session, Lakeside care home in Standish, Wigan, had a visit Oscar the donkey from Bleakholt animal sanctuary. Oscar visited the home with a few of his farm friends a goat and a family of baby chicks.

Oscar is the oldest of the Bleakholt donkeys. He is the only large grey donkey and he is very proud of this fact. He loves to pose for the camera as you can see.

During their visit, the animals spent time in the communal areas as well as individual bedrooms so that all residents, regardless of ability or mobility, could enjoy meeting and stroking the animals.

It might look like a lot of fun but animal therapy is said to have serious health benefits like lowing blood pressure and stress levels.

Manager Debbie Cank said “It’s not every day you get a Donkey wandering through the home,The residents just love it and staff do too.

“We love seeing their faces light up and the enjoyment they get out of it.”

As well as being fun and interesting, animal therapy is also hugely important for residents as it’s relaxing and can be a very social activity.

Following the visit from Oscar and his friends Lakeside care home loved the visit so much so the home booked another visit from Home Safari where they had a visit from a wide range of animals including Jasmine the Skunk, Bernard the Rabbit and many more bundles of soft fur.

May a resident at Lakeside said “Oh they’re lovely, all so lovely.”

Lakeside care home welcomes anyone in need of residential care, including those living with dementia. Residents are offered a full programme of regular and seasonal activities, as well as 24-hour access to highly trained medical and care staff.

The goals of a pet therapy program can include:

  • improving motor skills and joint movement
  • improving assisted or independent movement
  • increasing self-esteem
  • increasing verbal communication
  • developing social skills
  • increasing willingness to join in activities
  • improving interactions with others
  • motivating willingness to exercise

Other benefits of pet therapy include:

  • making you happier, lessening depression, and improving your outlook on life
  • decreasing loneliness and isolation by giving you a companion
  • reducing boredom
  • reducing anxiety because of its calming effects

For more information on Lakeside care home call 01257 422931 or email