A bespoke visit from two Arabian horses brought back cherished memories for a resident at Claremont Court who spent her childhood caring for the animals.
The team at the home on Harts Gardens, which recently won the Dementia Care Award for the South East Region at the Great British Care Awards, arranged the visit for Anne Griffiths as part of their memory tree initiative – which aims to reunite residents with the things they love in life.
The 75-year-old grew up caring for and riding horses at a farm near her childhood home in Truro
Lifestyle coordinator, Cheryll Hayman, who is also a lover of horses, arranged for two Arabian show horses to visit the residents in the home’s garden.
“We always want to get to know our residents on a personal level and to find out all their likes and dislikes. Anne’s love of horses was one of the key things her family shared about her when she first moved in with us,” she said.
“Being a horsey person myself, I reached out to a friend who looks after some beautiful horses and asked her if she would bring them into our home for Anne to meet them.
“Seeing the smile on Anne’s face when she saw the horses was wonderful and doing things like this for the residents is what it’s all about. It was clear how much it meant to her and she was noticeably happy for the days after the visit.”
While the meet-and-greet was arranged specifically for Anne, the home was able to include the other residents making it a fun experience for everyone.
Cheryll added: “The other residents loved it! It was a new experience for some but meeting a horse in their own back garden was probably a new experience for everyone.”
The horses who visited are descended from horses owned by Dubai’s ruling royal family, who operate the Godolphin thoroughbred stables that have bred and trained almost 300 group one winners across the world.
Anne was able to stroke and feed the horses, as were other residents, at the 57-bed home, which caters exclusively for people living with dementia and complex dementia.
“We pride ourselves on having a refreshing approach to dementia care and we really focus on what the residents can do rather than on what they can’t do,” care home manager, Karen Byres, explained.
“We were so pleased to be able to do this for Anne and while her dementia means she isn’t able to say how she’s feeling, the look on her face told us everything. It was really special and to see her smiling when the horses arrived was just wonderful.”