Springdale’s courtyard becomes a zoo, much to residents’ delight

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

Holding and petting animals brought back fond memories for many

SPRINGVILLE, Ont. – The Springdale Country Manor courtyard was literally a zoo on Aug. 23, as lambs, goats, rabbits, a potbellied pig, a pony and a variety of chickens and birds filled the Peterborough County long-term care home’s enclosed garden.

The animals were at Springdale courtesy of Woolley Wonderland Farm in Lakehurst. About 30 residents and their family members, including many children, came out that day to interact with the animals.

The smiles on residents’ faces were a testament to the value the program delivered. Many residents especially enjoyed holding the rabbits and the potbellied pig.

Some residents who couldn’t make it outside asked staff members to bring rabbits inside for them to hold and pet.

This is not the first time Springdale Country Manor and Woolley Wonderland Farm have collaborated to create programming for residents.

In April, the Woolley Wonderland brought two newly hatched ducklings to stay at the home over the Easter long weekend. Residents named the ducks Bob and Larry.

“We are in a rural setting, so we have a lot of farmers who are residents in our home, and they just love being out here,” Springdale life enrichment co-ordinator Sonia Murney said.

“The interaction with animals is amazing – this is like a pet therapy program for them.”

Woolley Wonderland staff member Milena Weinberg says she has seen the positive impact the animals have on long-term-care home residents many times.

“We see how (the animals) bring back memories from the past, so a lot of the residents start remembering about times when they had farms, or when they had an encounter with an animal, and they like to recall these stories, so we hear a lot of wonderful stories, and that’s really a good thing,” she says.

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