THE odd donkey wandering round a Wigan old folks home isn’t such an unusual sight these days.
But animal therapy took a new twist when residents were introduced to Agnes - the raccoon! The mum-to-be caused quite a stir as a VIP visitor to the Thorley House care home in Hindley.
Molly Taylor, 91, said: “I have never seen a raccoon before, and I was amazed at what a beautiful animal it was. I didn’t think I’d ever see one in person, let alone be in the same room with one as lovely as Agnes.”
She was brought in by the brother of Thorley House cook Gemma Hajoui, and the visit went so well that staff are hoping to bring in other animals, some exotic, in future.
Manager Rhona Briggs said: “It is wonderful to see the residents so excited about animal visits.” There is increasing evidence to suggest that interacting with animals can have a profound impact on people’s mental and physical health, particularly those with dementia.