Dementia residents moved to tears byÂ Shetland pony visit
A Â Sheffield care provider has been using Shetland ponies to bring comfort and joy to its dementia sufferers.
The specially trained animals visited all three homes operated by Fulwood-based Silver Healthcare recently.
Staff and relatives were hugely encouraged by the therapeutic and calming effect on residents brought about by the animals.
The three ponies '“ namedÂ Leo, HarryÂ and LarryÂ '“Â spent time with scores of dementia sufferers and even travelled in the lift to visit residents in their bedroomsÂ and lounges.
They even provided an unexpected pre-birthday treat for 92-year-old resident Maria Deakin.
Roy Young, managing director of Sheffield-based Silver Healthcare, said: 'The visit counts as one of the most moving experiences I've ever had in all my decades of operating care homes.
'Several residents even burst into tears '“ they was visibly moved by the experience and the calmness of the animals and there couldn't have been a better way to celebrate the forthcoming birthday of 92-year-old Maria Deakin.
'The team of pony handlers fromÂ 'Smile atÂ Lightwood'Â consisting ofÂ Kay Green, Lynn Jeffery and Kathy Elliss Whitham were absolute professionals and a joy to work with.
'The visit truly brought a smile to everyone's face.'
They ponies visited Silver Healthcare's Fulwood Lodge, Rosebank and Leahyrst homes. All three homes already provide a full calendar of events for residents.