Older people living with Dementia horse around as miniature mare pays unexpected visit

Customers  including some living with Dementia were able to ‘horse around’ with a very special visitor to our  wellbeing centre at Cedar Grove when they were surprised by equine visitor Taz last week.

Our wellbeing centre, one of three in the North Tyneside, provides a vital service as a place for older people to socialise and stay physically and mentally active, as well as giving respite for their family carers.

And the visit of Taz, a 5-year-old, leopard-spotted, appaloosa mare, shows just how different EveryDay centres are, according to manager Michelle Clement

Centre Manager, Michelle Clement

Michelle said: “Having Taz visit was absolutely fantastic – you could see straight away the impact it had on our customers. They loved it especially those who have had experience of horses in their younger lives!

“We provide a vital service for older people, and ensure sure we give them a place to socialise and enjoy themselves – we are a world away from what you might consider traditional ‘day care’.

“Age UK North Tyneside and EveryDay are focused on ending loneliness for older people in North Tyneside, and our centres are a huge part of that. They also enable us to give respite to family carers, which is extremely important.

“We would encourage any older person who is keen to continue to enjoy life and make friends to come along and see what we do. Our centres really are very special places that make a real difference to people’s lives.”

Taz’s visit happened as part of an initiative called Pets As Wellbeing, where animal ambassadors visit older people, including those living with Dementia, to help with stimulation, interaction and exercise.

It is part of a wider series of EveryDay programmes to keep older people active in body and mind.

EveryDay runs three wellbeing centres in North Tyneside – Cedar Grove in Wallsend, Rowan Croft in Killingworth, and Linskill Park in North Shields.

We provides a range of services at our centres, including podiatry, seated exercise classes, and pop-up music sessions.

EveryDay even offers mini wellbeing checks to keep an eye on customers’ health, something it says is completely unique to the private care sector.

Customer Audrey Pym, 93, from Wallsend, loves her visits to Cedar Grove.

She said: “It was a lovely idea to bring a horse in to see us. I love animals!

“The staff here are always trying to keep us entertained and doing interesting things. I love coming to Cedar Grove.”

For more information, or to book a free taster session at a wellbeing centre, call the Bradbury Centre in North Shields on 0191 2877028

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