Willenhall care home partners with local equine therapy provider to bring joy to residents

A care home in the Midlands has recently called upon the powers of animal therapy - partnering with a local pony experience provider to bring joy and comfort to residents.

Willow Rose Care Home in Willenhall, in the West Midlands, recently welcomed Moomin and Lollipop from local equine service Lollipop Pony Parties - two intuitive Shetland ponies who won the hearts of both residents and staff with their gentle, affectionate temperament.

Residents were given the opportunity to interact with the horses throughout the day, with plenty of petting and selfies on offer. The visit served not only as an exciting new activity for the home but also as a boost to the emotional wellbeing of many residents who have endured the isolation of lockdown and the hardships that come with it.

The professionally trained therapy horses were escorted around residents’ rooms and spent time in the communal lounge areas to ensure everyone had an opportunity to interact with them, regardless of their physical condition.

Animal therapy within the care environment is proven to lower anxiety and stress levels, whilst also stimulating memory and endorphins. Alongside this, it also contributes to the sense of community within the home - something that is a priority at Willow Rose.

Debbie Pugh, home manager at Willow Rose, said: “Having Moomin and Lollipop visit the home was an amazing experience for all our residents, and seeing all those smiling faces is something we’ll never forget.

“The past two years have been a challenge for everyone and the loving, intuitive nature of the ponies helped provide a welcome break from the turbulence of the pandemic.”

Macc Care will continue to call upon the services of Lollipop Pony Parties - with plans in place for future visits to other homes within the group. Partnering with local businesses embodies its stance on supporting the surrounding community, whilst also improving the wellbeing of its residents.

Debbie continued: “Many of our bed-bound residents struggle to engage with traditional care home activities, however, the nature of this visit meant that the ponies could be brought directly to their bedside. This offered an empowering experience for these residents and further highlighted the impact animal therapy can have on someone’s life.

“By popular demand, we will definitely invite Moomin, Lollipop, and their amazing handlers back to Willow Rose in the future. In the meantime, we will enjoy looking back over the amazing images captured and relive the joy of the day.”