Harleston House, a specialist dementia care home in Lowestoft, opened its doors to all pets for a Pet Open Day. It was arranged for the home to welcome any pet, meet and greet them and register who visited Harleston House throughout the day. The idea was inspired by the home’s residents who love animals and who are keen to experience new things.
Throughout the day staff, relatives and friends of Harleston House brought in their pets to Harleston House to spend some time with the residents and staff and enjoy talking about their beloved pet. The home was visited by 14 dogs, two tortoises, two parrots, two geckos, a cat and a goldfish. The home prepared a free barbeque for all visitors to enjoy whilst sitting and relaxing in the sensory garden.
The home’s oldest resident Doris Bedford who is 105 had never held a tortoise before but on the day she got to hold two tortoises named Billy and Daisy. She said: “It’s been a new experience for me and I could not believe how quick they could move”.
Most of the residents have never had the opportunity to see a gecko up close and they could not wait to hold these animals. The residents were very intrigued by the geckos and enjoyed discussing what they eat and how you look after them.
Residents enjoyed giving all the dogs treats as they paraded around the home meeting all the residents.
The home have had professional companies in the past visiting the home showing off various animals but this approach was more person centred as most of the pets were connecting to the residents.
Gareth Harding Activities Co-ordinator at Harleston House said: “It was a very rewarding activity to host in the home and it was a very positive experience for us all, we want it to be a yearly event for Harleston House and we look forward to next years.”