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Cathay Care Home residents in Forres welcomed a visit from Starrywell Alpacas from Rafford


By Garry McCartney

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Angus the alpaca with his reindeer ears.
Angus the alpaca with his reindeer ears.

CATHAY Care home residents were treated to a special visit in the run-up to Christmas.

Angus and Caspian dropped by – woolly animals from Rafford that many of the hosts had never seen before.

Starrywell Alpacas owner Tracy Carpenter with resident Estelle Mcphail feeding Angus.
Starrywell Alpacas owner Tracy Carpenter with resident Estelle Mcphail feeding Angus.

Activities coordinators Jemma Cannell and Shannen Rae organised the meeting with Starrywell Alpacas owner Tracy Carpenter, to give everyone a festive boost.

Jemma said: “Tracy came by with Angus and Caspian for an hour – the residents adored them! When dogs come to visit, they love seeing them, so being able to have different animals here was a great experience.”

Shannen added: ”Some residents preferred to see them from the window, but most got wrapped up to feed and stroke them outside. However, Angus came into the building bribed by tasty carrots for a few minutes!”

Angus, carer Holly Milne and resident Etta Alexander.
Angus, carer Holly Milne and resident Etta Alexander.

Tracy donated some alpaca wool which will be used for future sensory activities.

She said: “It was great to meet the wonderful residents and staff. I became interested in alpacas after watching an episode of Countryfile a few years back. The presenter and an alpacas owner visited a care home with them as part of therapy sessions. I was fascinated and after going on about them persistently, my husband Neil agreed we could get some to keep the grass down and me quiet!”

Resident Mo McLennan and carer Fraser MacDonald feeding Angus.
Resident Mo McLennan and carer Fraser MacDonald feeding Angus.

After some research Tracy and Neil bought three males then three pregnant females shortly afterwards. They now have a herd of 20 including five cria (baby alpacas) born this year and sired from their own stud.

Cathay Care Home’s community is looking forward to another visit in the new year after the Christmas celebrations.

Resident Martha Murray's Christmas poster.
Resident Martha Murray's Christmas poster.

Jemma said: “Staff are wearing Christmas tunics and we have Christmas music playing. We have decorations up and residents helped by painting some! Staff have been buying everyone presents. The residents have also been enjoying opening their Christmas cards with us.”

Shannen added: “We’re all looking forward to our Christmas party. The residents enjoy a good chat so we’ll also be reminiscing!”



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