Funding from the DPT Charity enabled llamas to visit Franklyn Hospital in Exeter in August.
Zoe Fischer, Occupational Therapy Assistant on Belvedere Ward said: “The atmosphere on the ward that day felt different, there was a sense of excitement and anticipation in the air (from staff as well as patients). The reaction from patients on Belvedere was unlike any I have seen before - nearly every patient wanted to see the llamas - and several patients from Rougemont Ward came across to visit too. Some people were mesmerised by their fur, soft and pillow like, so much so that a few patients laid their heads against the llamas sides. The llamas were incredibly relaxed and didn't seem to mind this at all. Others were entranced by the funny expressions and noises the llamas made, or were able to walk the llamas around the back garden.
"The visit also seemed to be enjoyed by staff, a much needed pick-me-up after these 18 months of managing the added pressures that have come from COVID-19. There is evidence from several studies into animal assisted therapy for dementia that it can help reduce agitation and aggression, as well as provide pleasure and interest.
"We hope to continue using charitable funds to provide a range of tools and experiences to patients that they would otherwise not have access to, based on the interests and needs of our patient group, in order to provide patient-centred care”.
Thank you to everyone that has supported the DPT Charity and has helped to make these small changes, which make a big difference. If you have any questions, or would like to support our charity please email Daniel Robson, Head of Charity Fundraising on firstname.lastname@example.org.