Residents get into festive spirit with reindeer experience

Elderly residents at a specialist dementia care home in Bridgwater, Somerset, were treated to a merry experience to kick off the Christmas festivities.

The team at Avalon Nursing Home arranged for two reindeers to visit the home’s residence in their communal lounge.

Everyone at Avalon had the opportunity to meet one of the reindeers, and some were able to have a more intimate experience and feed them special reindeer snacks.

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Many of the residents also enjoyed a cuddle with one of the fluffy Samoyed ‘snow-dogs’, which normally live at the reindeer ranch, and love to be petted by the public.

Avalon’s activities co-ordinator, Lisa Priddice, said: “It was wonderful to see how happy our residents were to encounter the reindeer. None of them had ever met or stroked a reindeer before and they were really captivated by the lovely gentle beasts that Sarah brought in.”

Sarah Sutton, British Reindeer Herders Association member, added: “I really feel we spread some Christmas joy today – the residents were so thrilled to meet Winter and Comet.”

Animals from Sarah’s Somerset Reindeer Ranch are mostly second generation calves born in the UK. They are regularly taken by Sutton to visit schools and nursing homes, or participate in street fairs and events run by the local council.

Avalon Nursing Home, in Taunton Road, Bridgwater, is part of the west country-based Camelot Care group of specialist dementia care homes. Camelot Care has 16 years’ experience in providing quality nursing and dementia care to the elderly with other homes in Wellington and Yeovil in Somerset, Plymouth and Devon.

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