Care home residents have been given the chance to meet some unusual four-legged visitors as part of a pet therapy programme.
The Grove Care Home in Kemnay welcomed two Shetland ponies which have been specially trained and bring joy to pensioners living in assisted accommodation.
Staff at the Meallmore facility wanted to give residents in their care a chance to meet and interact with the animals.
They were encouraged to get to know the ponies as the animals trotted around the building greeting pensioners in their chairs.
One care home resident said: “The ponies were lovely and very well behaved.”
Animal-assisted therapy has been shown to be beneficial in elderly care, as physical contact with the animals encourages communication, can reduce stress and anxiety and improve motor skills and self-esteem.
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Karen Paul, care home manager at Grove Care Home, said: “It’s not every day you get ponies wandering through the home so it was lovely for the residents to have the opportunity to enjoy their company.
“As well as being fun and interesting, animal therapy is also hugely important for our residents as it’s relaxing and can also be a very social activity.”
“At Meallmore, we’re committed to delivering exceptional standards of care to the elderly and frail, and animal therapy is just one of the ways in which we try to enrich the lives of our residents.”
The animals are owned by Therapy Ponies Scotland, which offers therapeutic visits to care homes, nursing homes and hospitals.