The residents at St Fillans Care Home, Essex, had an exciting day recently when a group of pygmy goats came to visit.
Pygmy goats are surprisingly calm animals and like to be stroked, so the residents always enjoy their company and calming nature. This helps to boost wellbeing too, as it gives them a chance to interact with animals and enjoy some quiet, controlled time with them. For people living with dementia, this is especially beneficial as they can sit, chat and reminisce with their friends, whilst enjoying the feel of the goat’s soft fur.
Blackwater Alpacas and Goats were behind the trip and brought along their pygmy goats to spend some time with the residents. The goats were only two weeks old so the residents were surprised at how small they were. Knowing they were only babies was more impactful for some of the residents, as not only did they want to stroke them, but mother them too!
As they sat in their chairs, team members from the company put a goat on each of the resident’s laps and ensured they were comfortable before starting the session. Residents were then free to stroke them, speak to them if they wished, or engage in group conversation whilst petting their animal.
The people at St Fillans love this type of relaxed animal interaction as it’s accessible for all and makes for a very personal experience. It’s not often that the residents can get so close to these animals and engage with them, so they savour and make the most of every moment.
All of the residents came away from the session with a smile on their face and talk of the visit spanned into the evening around the dinner, a sign that this was very much enjoyed!
Thanks to Blackwater Alpacas and Goats for coming by to host this experience with the residents, the boost in well-being and mood was noticed by all the team members. We look forward to seeing you all again soon!