Just looking at the picture of an alpaca will make you want to pet the adorable creature. So it comes as no surprise that the camel’s super fluffy cousin is being used for therapy in Germany, at Berlin’s Mana Wedell Tagespflege elderly care home.
A group of alpacas live in the home’s garden and are welcome to go inside for a visit. A video of their interaction with the residents was put up on YouTube, and although it is in German, you can tell that the place is so full of love.
The footage shows the alpacas being taken to each of the residents’ rooms for a visit. It appears that the alpacas are incredibly affectionate and love to be cuddled. They also seem to enjoy being given tasty treats and like riding the elevator. The residents also have a great time petting and spoiling the delightful animals, making them happier and healthier.
Photo: Ruptly video caption
Medical research shows that animal-assisted therapy can reduce anxiety, depression, fatigue and even pain. This is especially effective for people who live in long-term care facilities. While safety and sanitation might raise some concerns, a little extra care from the staff ensures that both the animals and the residents are happy. The alpacas used for the therapy need to be clean, vaccinated, trained and screened for behavior before they are permitted to interact with residents.
Therapy alpacas have been used in care facilities and hospitals around the world for years, and studies show they actually play a major role in making patients happier and healthier. Just look at those gentle eyes, don’t they make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside?