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Horse visits dementia patients – reactions move to tears

by Maria Filimonenko
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The Long Lost Hobbies program, which focuses specifically on assisting persons with dementia, included the visit to Leatherhead. In an effort to encourage seniors to pick up old interests and “bring back memories,” a horse paid an unexpected visit to a Surrey care facility.

With the help of Care UK’s Long Lost Hobbies program, residents pick up old hobbies like flower arranging, crocheting, and letter writing, which the firm claims is especially good for people with dementia.

A surprise visit from the horse Rosie was arranged for 90-year-old Frank Grace at Milner House in Leatherhead as a result of the campaign. Frank Grace claimed the experience made his day.

Story of Mr. Grace

Mr. Grace once enjoyed riding horses and used to work in a horse sanctuary. I’ve always had a good day thanks to horses like Rosie. Just because they are large doesn’t mean you need to be terrified of them, Mr. Grace added. “If you love them, they will love you back.”

We had a great time reliving Frank’s passion and bringing Rosie for a stroll through the garden, said Milner House manager Michele Belch.

Going back to a prior passion, like horseback riding, can help spark memories and offer a delightful opportunity to interact with others through a familiar activity that once offered delight, according to Ms. Belch.

Milner House’s residents and staff members have enjoyed rediscovering their old pastimes and trying out new ones from more recent generations. The elders’ stories of how they first got interested in their favourite hobby and the happy memories it brought up have been delightful to hear.

Source: Independent

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