Watch Man Use Reptiles And Insects To Help People With Dementia!
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An animal enthusiast has incorporated all kinds of creepy crawlies, including reptiles, insects, and birds, into unconventional therapy that helps people with dementia.
Kris Freeman is an animal lover and the Tropical Discovery Workshop owner. His foundation not only offers educational and practical workshops for kids but also interactive therapies for patients of all types, including those with dementia.
“How many animals do I have at home? Crikey! I have got a couple of hundred stick insects, we have a couple of hundred cockroaches of different species, Madagascan hissers and feeder cockroaches.
We have giant millipedes, giant snails, giant centipedes – Scolopendras,” the businessman said in an interview with Barcroft TV.
“Then we can move on to arachnids; I have tailless whip scorpions, a handful of those. Must have round about 12 tarantulas, we’ve managed to get the numbers down a little bit. Must have around about 18 snakes at the moment.
“A parrot, a couple of bearded dragons, crested geckos, couple of leopard geckos, white tree Frogs. I’m bound to have forgotten something.”
As the man added, he switched career paths after losing his job as a salesman.
“I started Tropical Discovery Workshops mainly because of my friend as he worked at my daughter’s school at the time. She said ‘we have a guy come with animals as you have got – but you’re really interactive with the children, and maybe that’s the sort of thing you should do,’” he added.
“I started from scratch and this is six years later and going strong! Absolutely love it and I couldn’t imagine doing anything else now.”
Speaking of his unusual therapies for the elderly who suffer from conditions such as dementia, Freeman said:
“I started taking them into care homes because when the resident has got maybe a couple of games a day, and watching TV, I thought it must get quite boring for them to be either bed-bound or chair-bound or just not have a great deal to do because of their old age unfortunately.
“So I thought it would be great to introduce them to some of the animals to see how they got on with them. So I phoned up a care home in Trowbridge and they said ‘yep this is great, come on in, we’ll see how it goes,’ and they ended up booking me every two months.
“To see the joy in their face learning about something that they have never even seen before, or heard of before, but actually getting to hold something in front of them. It just gave me more of a thrill than it gave them!
“Now I do more care homes than I do birthday parties or schools. It tends to be my main role now and I love it.”
According to the Tropical Discovery Workshop owner, he receives a lot of positive feedback from residents of homes for the aged.
“I have found that a lot of residents who have dementia, these animals can bring out some sort of nurturing side to them. I’ve had residents who have been stroking a bearded dragon break down in tears and start calling it one of their old dog’s names, and it’s almost like it’s an unlocked memory,” Freeman claimed.
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