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On Wednesday 10 May, the residents of Fremantle Court received a delightful surprise when they welcomed two special guests: Darcy and Ariana, two adorable Shetland ponies. Owner Carly, brought the ponies in to visit – much to the resident’s delight. The visit brought smiles, laughter, and a touch of nostalgia to everyone’s day.

As Darcy and Ariana trotted into the premises, their petite size and friendly demeanour instantly captivated our hearts. The residents, eagerly awaiting their arrival, gathered in anticipation, their faces lighting up with joy and excitement.

The presence of these gentle creatures provided a unique and uplifting experience for the residents. Many had fond memories of interacting with animals in their earlier years, and the visit evoked a sense of nostalgia and warmth. For Resident Margaret, “They were absolutely wonderful and reminded me of the ponies I kept when I lived on a farm in my younger days.”

The interaction with Darcy and Ariana offered more than just an enjoyable experience; it also provided therapeutic benefits. Studies have shown that animal interactions can reduce stress, improve mood and increase social engagement. 

The visit of Darcy and Ariana demonstrated the profound power of animal interactions in brightening the lives of older adults and promoting overall wellbeing. So much so that it was a challenge to say goodbye. After much petting, hugging and brushing, resident Barbara said, “I don’t want them to go home – can we keep them?”

The memory of Darcy and Ariana’s visit will forever hold a special place in the hearts of the Fremantle Court residents, reminding them of the joy and happiness that can be found in the simplest of moments shared with cherished animal friends.

Cathy Charles, Family Liaison Manager said, “The residents really enjoyed their experience with the ponies. There were many requests for photos to show their families or to put up in their rooms. A memorable morning was had by many.”