The Seaton welcomes a new pet

Residents at The Seaton have been delighting in a new pet – a baby tortoise named Nugg.

The heartwarming adoption came about unexpectedly following a visit to the home by the team from Phelsuma Farm in Somerset, which specialises in exotic breeds.

The Seaton’s Administration Manager, Kelly Boweren, explains more: “They brought along snakes and reptiles for the residents to handle. They also had a tortoise, plus a baby, which they were looking to re-home. The staff and residents immediately took to it, so we decided to buy the baby.”

Kelly says the name Nugg was put forward by Seaton’s Senior Carer, Will Barnes, and was added to a list of other suggestions from residents and families.

“We put all the names in a hat and Nugg came out on top, so we officially named him and went to buy a shelter, heat lamp and other necessities. The residents help to keep him clean and when he is bigger, he will be out for a run around.”

Pets bring comfort and companionship in residential care settings and are welcomed at The Seaton and the other three homes in the Southern Healthcare group.

Whether furry, feathered, or scaled, these companions play a profound role in the lives of residents, offering far more than just cuddles and wagging tails. Their presence has been shown to positively impact the physical, emotional, and social well-being of older people, transforming the atmosphere of care facilities into vibrant communities filled with warmth and happiness.

As well as offering unconditional love, the therapeutic benefits of interacting with animals are well-documented. Studies have shown that spending time with pets can reduce stress, anxiety, and depression levels. The simple act of petting a dog or stroking a cat can trigger the release of feel-good hormones such as serotonin, oxytocin, and dopamine, promoting a sense of calm and contentment. In the serene environment of a care home, where residents may be grappling with health issues or adjusting to new surroundings, the presence of pets becomes even more precious, offering a source of emotional support and solace.