Budgies Offer Therapeutic 'Tweet'
A bird loving resident at a care home in Leeds, was recently given the opportunity to care for two of her very own budgies – a species of bird renowned for being a safe and friendly companion.
84-year-old Faith who lives with dementia moved into Seacroft Grange, Leeds, a 95-bed care home in September 2022.
Whilst Faith enjoys her own company, staff at the care home noticed she was spending more time in her bedroom using her binoculars to spot red kites which often fly over the home.
Staff at Seacroft Grange wanted to support Faith and asked her whether she would like to have two of her very own budgies in her room to take care of.
Faith said, “They are great company, and they chatter, I love watching them. My daughter and I named them Archie and Daisy.” Faith’s daughter said, “Mum is fascinated by the budgies, she looks happier than ever and we can’t believe the care home has done this for her – she’s so happy.”
Whilst the budgies reside in Faith’s bedroom, they are often seen in the communal areas of the home interacting and chirping away to the residents.
Warwick, a resident at Seacroft Grange said, “I kept budgies in an aviary when I was a young man. They were very noisy - tweeting and flying around – I remember it well. “When I joined the forces, I was unable to keep them, so being able to spend time with Daisy and Archie here is wonderful.”
Care home manager, Eve Moran, said, “We are very in tune with our residents’ needs and we’ve always known about Faith and many of the other residents’ love of birds.
“Faith loves to talk to us about the red kites she has spotted, and we know her daughter had a budgie called Stanley that lived to be 15."
“We wanted to do something that we knew would have a positive impact on Faith and the other residents’ wellbeing in the home and a set of budgies was suggested by a staff member.”
Once the team had discussed the idea with Faith and her family, the budgies were bought from Paws for Thought, a local pet shop on York Road. The shop also donated toys for the birds when they found out where the budgies were going.
Wellbeing team leader at Seacroft Grange, Linda Shaw, added, “The residents love seeing the budgies and the first thing they do is smile. The budgies have been a very welcome addition - the bright colours and chirping provide stimulation and brings a lot of happiness to the home."
“Birds are great companions as they chatter back to the residents which helps to relieve stress and feelings of loneliness.”
The budgies have quickly become a part of the residents’ daily routine, providing them with companionship and a source of joy and purpose. They spend hours each day watching them fly around their cage and interact with each other and Faith has even been asking for a hoover to clean up the seeds in her bedroom.
Eve added, “It is so important to support our residents and provide them with opportunities to pursue their interests and hobbies."
“It’s really lovely seeing the other residents congregate with the budgies in the communal lounges at the home – it’s really helped with their overall wellbeing. We’re delighted we’ve been able to improve the quality of life for many of our residents.”