ROCKFORD — There was a little horsing around Tuesday afternoon inside the multipurpose room at PA Peterson at the Citadel.
The continuing care retirement community on Parkview Avenue got a visit from Luna, a miniature horse who made medical treatments for various conditions a little more pleasant for residents.
Luna is a volunteer therapy horse from Mercyhealth at Home Hospice. She was guided by handler Liz Fiorenza, a registered nurse and aroma therapist with Mercyhealth.
“I like to do this because of the enjoyment people get from it,” Fiorenza said. “A lot of the residents either grew up on a farm or their grandparents had a farm, so horses were part of their life. This is a way for them to kind of reconnect with that. And it brings back good feelings. So it’s a win-win.”
Diane Huey, a temporary resident, bragged about getting to kiss Luna multiple times on the nose, whereas Luna only let others kiss her once.
“It meant a lot,” said Huey. “I’ve had a rough two days, and it brightened my day.”
Sheri Westcott, PA Peterson’s activities director, helped bring Luna to the facility.
“Being able to be around a pet or an animal, they really enjoy that,” Westcott said. “I think it just brings them out of their shells. Some of them don’t talk that much and they’re just talking like crazy out here.”
Doris Noreen, a 104-year-old resident, said with a chuckle: “It was cute, it was nice. I’m glad I came.”
And Luna is welcome to return anytime she wants, Westcott said.
“The horse is so well behaved,” she said.
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