Dunmurry-based residential home, Oak Tree Manor, which is managed by Kathryn Homes, has teamed up with an animal therapy group to provide residents with one-to-one donkey time.

Kinedale Donkeys, located in Ballynahinch, visited the home with its two donkeys, Peanut and Tipple.

Peanut and Tipple were given a four-legged tour of the facility, where their handler Robert introduced them to some of the residents, giving them the opportunity to get to know their new equine friends.

Carolyn Hill, Wellbeing Lead at Oak Tree Manor, said:

“Animal therapy has a positive effect on the social skills of our residents while also providing them with mental stimulation, making it the perfect activity for us to enjoy.

“At Kathryn Homes, we pride ourselves on delivering person-centered care that enriches the lives of our residents in a fun and meaningful way and donkey therapy ticks all of these boxes.

“It was great to see the smiles on our residents’ faces and know that they made the most out of the visit.”

Donkey therapy has enormous therapeutic benefits for older people, as their naturally calm and slow presence provides a feeling of security and comfort. This effect can help reduce blood pressure, heart rate, and anxieties, while improving verbal communication and increasing mobility.

Speaking of the visit, Agnes Creeth, resident at Oak Tree Manor, commented:

“I had a donkey when I was growing up, and seeing the donkeys today brought back those wonderful memories.

“It was a really enjoyable experience that the whole home was able to get involved with.”

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