A QUACKING good time was had by residents at a Teesside care home when some tiny, feathered friends paddled by for a visit.
A flock of newly hatched ducklings had residents at Mandale House Care Home, on Acklam Road, Thornaby, all a-flutter when they waddled in for an animal therapy session.
Daffy, Donald, and Pond, James Pond were brought to the home by activities coordinator Sharon Lewis, who was loaned the triplets by hatching kit provider Incredible Eggs.
Sharon set up a tub of water so residents could watch them swim and dive for meal worms. She also held a duckling data quiz, which Ann Venis, 87, won with a score of 10 out of 14.
Ann said: “The ducklings brought back memories of going to the park when I was young and feeding the ducks. I loved it when the ducks had ducklings.”
Fellow resident Edna Hughes, 95, said: “It is amazing to watch them swim underwater. I have never seen that before.”
Edward Nicholson, 97, said: “I cannot believe that ducks can fly at 50 miles an hour.”
Brian Buckle, 84, rarely leaves his room and was delighted when the ducklings waddled in to say hello. He said: “I just love them.”
Sharon added: “Animal therapy sessions have proven to be highly therapeutic for elderly residents, especially those living with dementia, as it can elicit fond memories from their pasts, as well as help reduce feelings of stress and loneliness and boost wellbeing.
“When we found Incredible Eggs, we thought it would be a great opportunity for our residents to help raise and care for the little ducklings, before they go back to the farm.
“The residents were very excited to meet them when they finally arrived. As well as the quiz, we did experiments to see the ducklings’ reactions to things like a green towel and a mirror. We also looked up duck sayings and took a vote on how we all like our eggs – scrambled was the overall winner.
“Seeing the residents light up when they meet animals, like the ducklings, demonstrates just how powerful these types of therapy sessions can be, so I’m sure we’ll be doing more in future.”