Alpacas visit care home: 9 adorable photos as alpacas visit Penicuik care home near Edinburgh
Two alpacas stole the hearts of residents when they visited a care home in Penicuik, on the outskirts of Edinburgh.
Alpacas Calvin and Praline, aged five and three, were the centre of attention at Aaron House – a 65-bed nursing home offering care for elderly residents and older people with mental health conditions and cognitive challenges.
Residents enjoyed an afternoon in their company, feeding and stroking them.
Animal lover Morag Moriarty, 79, was smitten from the beginning, saying it was “love at first sight”.
Meeting the furry pair was a new experience for all of the residents and, for some, brought back memories of their own pets.
“They were beautiful, and reminded me of petting my collies,” said 78-year-old resident Shuna Hunnam.
“They were like stroking a carpet!”
Providing activities to evoke memories and reflection helps to give residents a feeling of security and comfort but Aaron House is also keen to create new memories and opportunities for residents, enabling them to live stimulating and fulfilling lives.
Activities coordinator Linda Wilkinson said: “When people move into care homes it can often give them a new lease of life. I love my job and the variety of it.
“For me, it’s all about the residents and finding out their needs and what they enjoy. This is a very lively care home, there’s never a dull moment.”
The alpacas, provided courtesy of Bobcat Alpacas in Bonaly, Edinburgh, were predominately hosted in the home’s large wrap-around garden but their visit was also inclusive and tailored for all abilities.
They visited residents in the home’s lounges, and they even made personal appearances in residents’ rooms.
Derek Latto, 76, was among those who enjoyed meeting Calvin and Praline in his room.
He said: “I’ve seen an alpaca at the zoo before and when they walked into my room, I thought “What the heck?!”
Resident Marjory Davidson, 92, has lived at Aaron House for seven months and loves the home’s Silkies.
“I love to sit outside in the garden and watch them,” she said.
“We’ve got stunning views, the gardens are lovely and the chickens are a wee treasure.”
General Manager Stephen Van Putten said: “Meeting the alpacas was a new experience for many of our residents and we can see first-hand how they benefit from our pet therapy activity. As well as being fun and enjoyable, animals can have a very calming and soothing effect.
“The alpacas certainly seemed to love the limelight and all the attention they got. They were great with our residents.
“We’ll definitely have them back – plus it seems as though Morag wouldn’t allow it any other way!”