Burnbrae Gardens resident Marjorie Towns and LEC April Faux visit with Pappy the horse.
Residents get the surprise of a lifetime
Marjorie Towns and 30-plus other Burnbrae Gardens residents get special visit from horseAugust 3, 2012
Burnbrae Gardens resident Marjorie Towns, who grew up riding horses on a farm, recently told physiotherapy assistant Lee-Ann Mitchell that she “will never see a horse again.” When she heard those words, Mitchell wanted to prove the resident wrong.
On Wednesday morning, Mitchell arranged for a horse named Spice of Life Paprika, “Pappy” for short, to come to the home, courtesy of her cousin, the animal’s owner. About 35 of the home’s 43 residents, including Towns, came out to visit with Pappy, who has been well-trained to be with people, and has spent a lot of time with people who have acquired brain injury.
Given the rural background of many residents, the event was of huge importance, says Mitchell.
“Marjorie and a lot of the other residents grew up on farms — we had so many people outside it was amazing,” Mitchell tells the OMNIway.
“Some of the residents who don’t even like to leave the home came out.”
The horse spent the morning in the yard outside the home with residents, who petted and talked to her.
“Residents who don’t usually respond to activities were responding to the horse,” says life enrichment co-ordinator April Faux.
“The residents who we knew would respond because they have horse pictures all over their rooms were over the top emotionally and smiling all day.”
Because Pappy’s visit went over so well with residents, Faux says the home is hoping to bring her back once a month until winter.
In fact, Mitchell’s cousin has already offered to bring Pappy back, says Mitchell, adding she’s looking forward to Pappy’s next visit.
“It was absolutely amazing, and I can’t wait to do it again,” she says.
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