Owls’ visit to St Annes care home is a hoot!

Karen Mankowska takes her owls to residents at The Knights Care Home.  She is pictured with Brian Rolands.
Karen Mankowska takes her owls to residents at The Knights Care Home. She is pictured with Brian Rolands.
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An animal visit to a St Annes care home proved to be a real head-turner.

Owls from Little DoveTails and Owls were introduced to elderly residents at the Knights Care Home, Clifton Drive North, St Annes, on Thursday.

Karen Mankowska takes her owls to residents at The Knights Care Home.  She is pictured with Edith Smith.

Karen Mankowska takes her owls to residents at The Knights Care Home. She is pictured with Edith Smith.

It was the second wildlife-themed visit to take place at the care home following on from a creepy-crawly zoo experience in January - and is just the latest in a long line of planned animal interaction events.

Kirsten Eley, activities co-ordinator at The Knights Care Home, said: “They brought two baby owlets, a white snowy owl, and two other owls.

“We had such a good time last time and it made a huge impact on the residents. They were taking about it for weeks. Even the ones who can’t remember what they had for breakfast in the morning were still talking about the snake they held.

“We’re going to have a different animal every month.

“I sat down with them all and asked them what animals they haven’t seen in so long, and a few of the bed-ridden residents said they hadn’t seen a bird in a long time.

“It’s amazing therapy. Nine out of 10 put the glove on and held and stroked the owls. One lady said never in all her years had she seen a bird so beautiul.

“We learned new things and you could see them taking it all in. It was fascinating for all involved.

“It’s just amazing how you can see their spirits lifted linstantly.

“For the residents who are bedridden we brought the baby owls to them. There was one man who used to run a farm and he’s got quite severe dementia, and we brought the owl in and he said ‘that’s a baby barn owl’ straight away and started talking about the animals. Such a good thing came from such a little visit.”

She added that care home residents could look forward to even more animal visits in the future, as they have planned for farm animals to visit in April, and a Shetland pony coming in May.

Care home manager Nicola Holmes said: “What we are trying to aim for is offer a diverse range of things going on in the home, because a lot of people don’t get out because of their dementia. It was a new thing for us to try and we are definitely going to do it again.”