RESIDENTS at a care home in Andover have enjoyed a visit from a selection of interesting animals.

Residents at Millway House loved a visit from the group of creatures, which included an owl, guinea pig, lizard, snake, and centipede.

The animals popped into the nurse-led care home from Feathers, Fangs and Furries, an animal welfare organisation. 

Visiting Millway House as part of an animal therapy session, the special guests were taken around the care home to interact with residents. 

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Animal therapy refers to the use of animals to help people with specific physical or mental health conditions, and it has become more and more popular in care homes over recent years.

Claire Lousteau, home manager at Millway House, said the benefits for her residents are huge. 

She said: “Interaction with different animals helps stimulate our residents’ brains and helps to keep them mentally active and engaged. Animal therapy also helps to decrease the agitated behaviours of residents who have dementia, as it helps them to remember and talk about past pets and animal experiences. 

“The smiles on our residents’ faces said it all today – they were delighted to have the chance to meet and hold each of the different animals, and it was fantastic to see.  A huge thank you to Millway staff for making it happen.” 

The team from Feathers, Fangs and Furries made sure that every resident had the chance to say hello to its animals, and made a special visit to the room of a 103-year-old resident who was unable to make it to the lounge. 

Paul Smith, from Feathers, Fangs and Furries, said: “We love taking our animals into care homes across the region, and it’s a real privilege to see the joy it brings. Everyone at Millway House was very welcoming today and it’s been a real pleasure to have the opportunity to drop by.” 

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Millway House is part of AgeCare and operations manager, Sara Gallagher, was thrilled to hear that its residents had the opportunity to benefit from this special session. 

She said: “At Millway House, we are a nurse-led care home, so our approach focuses on providing a home-from-home for our residents while we meet their healthcare needs. It’s been wonderful hearing about the care home’s recent animal visitors.” 

Feathers, Fangs and Furries is an animal welfare and fundraising organisation from Andover, which takes in pets from people who can no longer look after them. It visits care homes, schools, youth groups and events with its creatures for education and enjoyment.