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New companions at Kilmarnock Heights Home

New companions at Kilmarnock Heights Home

Kilmarnock Heights Home resident Betty Smith with Adam the rabbit.

The inclusion of pets adds unique and welcomed aspect of Enliven’s Kilmarnock Heights Home, which has recently become home to new rabbits and baby birds.

The home’s new rabbits, Adam and Eve, were chosen and named by the residents of Kilmarnock Heights Home and are proving popular among the residents and their visitors.

“Adam and Eve run around in the courtyard on sunny days and residents watch them while enjoying a cup of tea,” explains the home’s manager Bronwyn Drennan.

“We welcome all children in the neighbourhood to come along and spend time with the residents and our animals here. We recently had an early childhood group visit and they loved interacting with all the animals we have in the home.”

Kilmarnock Heights Home also has a bird aviary which is thriving.

“We had baby budgies born recently and we’ve donated some of them to other Enliven homes around Wellington.”

The home’s other animals include three resident cats, fish, dogs that visit regularly with volunteers, and the home is planning to add chickens to the list.

“The residents are very much in charge here. They thought the rabbits would be great to have at the home so they could watch them in the garden and they knew the children that visit would love them, and next on the list is getting our own chickens that residents can help look after,” Bronwyn explains.

Bronwyn says animals add to the spontaneity at the home and provides residents with companions that they can care for and nurture.

“We always have animal interaction when we can because it’s part of our homes model of care, the Eden Alternative.”

Eden encourages close and continuing contact with children, animals and plants, continuing hobbies and ensuring residents have a say in what they want to do and how their home is run, says Bronwyn.

“Eden puts the decision making back into the hands of the residents and re-enforces the fact that we work in their home, they don’t live where we work.”

Kilmarnock Heights Home clinical nurse manager Anna Roberts and her husband and children have volunteered to help look after the home’s rabbits by cleaning the hutch once a week.

“I come in the weekends with my family and we clean out the rabbit hutch – it’s our little volunteer job,” says Anna.

“My children love visiting because the residents have become like grandparents to them. It’s really nice to work in an environment where that’s encouraged.”

Anna says the Eden Alternative is what sets the home apart from the rest.

“Eden is about the bigger picture and we have a collective vision that we, residents and staff, all are working towards, to create a truly elder-centred environment and it truly makes a difference,” says Anna.

Kilmarnock Heights Home is operated by Enliven, part of the not-for-profit organisation Presbyterian Support Central, and provides rest home and respite care as well as a popular day guest programme.

For more information about Kilmarnock Heights Home, 20 Morton Street, Berhampore, call 04 380 2034 or click here.

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