Collaboration between Springdale and farm praised

Springdale Country Manor resident Lloyd Plumley enjoys a visit from some furry friends.

Recent visits from Woolley Wonderland Farm have been successful, and more opportunities could be on the horizon

SPRINGVILLE, Ont. – Springdale Country Manor residents have enjoyed interacting with animals that have visited the Peterborough County long-term care home from Woolley Wonderland Farm in recent months, and both the home and farm are hoping to keep this collaboration going.

In this photo from April 2019, Springdale Country Manor resident Lillian DeBassecourt poses with a duckling from Woolley Wonderland Farm perched on her head.

The Springdale Country Manor courtyard became a makeshift zoo Aug. 23, as lambs, goats, rabbits, a potbellied pig, a pony and a variety of chickens and birds from Woolly Wonderland filled the Peterborough County long-term care home’s enclosed garden.

About 30 residents and their family members, including many children, came out that day to interact with the animals.

Because Springdale is in a rural setting, there are many residents who come from farming backgrounds and have a fondness for animals.

“We find when we bring the animals to seniors’ homes, they bring back a lot of memories from the past,” says Woolley Wonderland staff member Milena Weinberg.

“A lot of the residents will have memories of when they had farms or when they had an encounter with animals, and they like to recall these stories, so we hear a lot of wonderful stories.”

In April, two of Woolley Wonderland’s newly hatched ducklings arrived at Springdale Country Manor ahead of the Easter weekend for a weeklong stay. The ducklings were a big hit with residents and staff members. Residents even gave the birds names: Larry and Bob.

Milena and Springdale Country Manor life enrichment co-ordinator Sonia Murney say they will keep looking for future opportunities for residents to visit with the animals.

Milena says ponies and donkeys owned by Woolley Wonderland Farm, which is located in Lakehurst, are being trained to pull sleighs. Once the snow comes, Springdale hopes to take advantage of the new skill the ponies and donkeys are learning.

“Coming in the winter, one of the things we’re possibly looking at doing is having a sleigh ride for the residents,” Sonia says. “I know that would be a highlight for a lot of the residents.”

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