Residents of Cathay Care Home in Forres welcomed a visit to Starrywell Alpacas from Rafford

Angus the alpaca with his reindeer ears.

The residents of the CATHAY nursing home were treated to a special visit in the run up to Christmas.

Angus and Caspian have been there – woolly animals of Rafford that many 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.

The activity coordinators, Jemma Cannell and Shannen Rae, organized the meeting with the owner of Starrywell Alpacas, Tracy Carpenter, to give everyone a festive boost.

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

Shannen added, “Some residents preferred to see them through the window, but most got carried away to feed and pet them outside. However, Angus entered the building bribed by tasty carrots for a few minutes! “

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

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

She said, “It was great meeting the wonderful residents and staff. I got interested in alpacas after watching an episode of Countryfile a few years ago. The presenter and an alpaca owner visited a nursing home with them for therapy sessions. I was fascinated and after talking about them persistently my husband Neil agreed that we could get some to keep the grass down and shut me up!

Resident Mo McLennan and caregiver Fraser MacDonald feed Angus.
Resident Mo McLennan and caregiver Fraser MacDonald feed Angus.

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

The Cathay Care Home community looks forward to another visit in the New Year following the Christmas celebrations.

Christmas poster from resident Martha Murray.
Christmas poster from resident Martha Murray.

Jemma said: “The staff wear Christmas tunics and we have Christmas music. We have decorations in place and the residents have helped by painting a few! The staff bought gifts for everyone. The residents also took pleasure in opening their Christmas cards with us.

Shannen added, “We are all looking forward to our Christmas party. Residents appreciate a good conversation so we will remember too!



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