Studies have shown that animals can have a therapeutic effect on older people – so it means residents at a County Durham care home are certainly fighting fit.
There is never any shortage of all creatures great and small brought into the 27-bedroom Langley House residential care home in Sunderland Road, Horden, which is owned and managed by Durham Aged Mineworkers’ Homes Association.
The most recent visitors were a tortoise called Stevie and two Harris Hawks.
Stevie, who belongs to a member of staff at Langley House, is a regular visitor but residents thought they had seen the last of him after he was savaged by a dog.
The vets hadn’t given Stevie much hope but much to everyone’s delight he proved that it wasn’t just his shell that was tough and made full recovery.
Other visitors to the home also ruffled a few feathers but in the nicest possible way. A local Falconer brought in two Harris Hawks and the residents showed no fear by handling them in the garden.
Joy Atkinson, Head of Home at Langley House, said: “The residents respond really positively to having animals in the home and it is something we do regularly as part of the activity programme we offer.”