A care home in Bishopsteignton recently welcomed six fluffy new additions into their family, much to the delight of the residents and staff.
The chicks were successfully hatched at Moors Park House as part of its animal therapy programme, which helps people living with dementia.
The 37-bed residential care home teamed up with ethical hatching company, Incredible Eggs. The home was provided with six eggs and an incubator, and residents and staff were shown how to hatch the eggs and care for their new brood.
While the chicks have been a big hit with everyone, one resident, Yvonne Wing, aged 82, took a particular shine to them. She said: “It was a wonderful thing to hold the chicks. It made me smile as I love animals – it brought back memories of the poodles I used to have. We don’t know how precious these things are.”
Linda Lowe, care home manager at Moors Park House said: “Yvonne held the chicks every day and it was lovely to see her face light up every time she saw them. We do a lot of animal therapy here and these chicks have had a very positive impact on our residents. It’s been really interesting to have them, and it was particularly special to watch them hatch.
“Some of the residents have never held a chick before and the sensory experience has been very soothing. They’re such fun too – every evening our night carer Mickey would get them a bowl of water so they could swim, everyone enjoyed watching them splashing about.”
Animal therapy has a positive effect on people living with dementia, by improving mood and reducing anxiety. Interacting with animals also leads to social interaction between residents and encourages them to take part in more physical activity, boosting their overall health and wellbeing.
Linda continued: “We encourage a wide range of animals into the home, in the past we’ve had giant snails, a dog, chickens and rabbits. During the pandemic we weren’t able to have animals here, so everyone was really looking forward to having the chicks.
“It’s important for us to offer a wide variety of different activities to our residents. We always want to create a stimulating and interesting environment where they can reminisce, as well as creating new special memories.”
Jane Stuart, co-founder of Incredible Eggs, added: “It’s incredibly moving to hear from the staff how involved their residents have been in the project and what a joyous, life-enriching experience it has been for them.”
The chicks have now been re-homed at a small family-run farm in Cornwall. The staff and residents at the care home hope to enjoy the experience again next year.
Moors Park House provides residential, respite and convalescence care in a homely environment, led by a highly trained, experienced and dedicated team.