Therapy alpacas bring happiness to dementia patients

Cumbria Crack
By: Cumbria Crack
Photo: Courtesy of Alpaca Culture

Original content from Cumbria Crack.
Alpaca duo, Twinkle and Dude, have taken time out from the farm this week to visit patients with dementia at the Ruskin Unit in Carlisle.

Twinkle and Dude visited the unit to provide animal therapy, an alternative to medicine which can improve a patient’s social and emotional wellbeing. Patients spent time with the alpacas, stroking them and finding out more about their needs.

Rikki Dawson, Ward Manager at Ruskin Unit said: “Twinkle and Dude’s visit was just great; you could feel such a buzz in the atmosphere and the positive impact is clear through our patients’ mood and behaviour. This type of therapy helps keep people well, motivated and engaged.

“We’ve done a lot of work over the past few years to improve the service we provide for our patients, including different therapies that are not all based around medicine. Animal therapy always goes down well and we are looking to get some owls and other birds to visit soon.”

One patient on the unit was thrilled with the visit and said: “I really like them both. They’re lovely, soft and patient and like being stroked just under the chin.”

Twinkle and Dude’s owner, Kim Inglis Jeffries from Blencogo Farm, Wigton, adds: “The alpacas are great with people; we’ve had some wonderful experiences with those who have met them both on the farm at home and through our visits around the county.

Read the rest of this story at Cumbria Crack.