Residents at a care home in Market Harborough were all ears when a host of four-legged guests were welcomed into the home.

Lizards, tortoise, rabbits, and Guinea pigs visited Care UK’s Oat Hill Mews, on Leicester Road, for a special afternoon of animal therapy.

Residents were given a chance to handle the four-legged friends, all while learning more about the different creatures, which were brought in by the team from Animal Interaction, including their personalities, favourite foods and how to look after them.

Commenting on the visit, resident, Marjorie Dore, aged 88, said: “I loved having the animals come in! My favorite was Jimson, the gecko. I would have put him in my pocket and kept him if I could, he was lovely. I wasn’t so keen on the cockroach, but it was funny to see everyone’s reaction to it.

“I’ve always loved animals, particularly cats – I have a cat called Alfie and he’s wonderful. Growing up we had all sorts of animals so seeing the rabbits really reminded me of my younger years.

“I really hope that they come back, and we get to see some of them again – especially Jimson!”

Susanne Stevens, Home Manager at Oat Hill Mews, said: “We loved welcoming such wonderful creatures to Oat Hill Mews – they certainly made a good impression.

“Animal companionship has been shown to have many therapeutic advantages for older people, particularly those with dementia, as it helps lower anxiety and creates relaxing endorphins – you could see from the residents’ reactions just how much they enjoyed interacting with their new furry friends.

“We look forward to welcoming more animals of all shapes and sizes in the future!”

Designed to enable residents to live active and fulfilled lives; while also promoting independence, the new care home will incorporate space for hobby and leisure activities.

To find out more about Oat Hill Mews, please call Susanne Stevens, Home Manager at Oat Hill Mews, on 01858 390 039, or email [email protected]

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