KENT, Ohio — As the days of social distancing have become weeks, many are looking for new and creative ways to lift the spirits of those around them.
“We’re thinking outside the box to keep our residents engaged and give them something to look forward to,” says John McAninch, the Executive Director of KentRidge Senior Living. “We really wanted to offer them something different.”
That something different came in the form of a parade of horses trotting around the courtyards and greeting residents at their windows.
“We came out to try and spread some smiles and we’re just trying to support the community,” says Lissy Kuhn, the Donor Stewardship Coordinator at Happy Trails Farm. “We brought some horses out and we’re going up to residents’ windows, waving hello and able to talk about who we are and what we do.”
The horses are friendly, but despite all the trail rides, people visiting and a few festivals, this is the first time they’ve ever been brought in for something like this. The don’t have a lot of experience going up to windows to say hello, but they took to it, like a horse to grass.
Kuhn says, “Horses aren’t always the most predictable. They decide what they’re going to do and when they’re going to do it, but our horses are great. I think they’re doing pretty well, all things considered.”
And all things considered, the residents and staff at KentRidge are doing pretty well also. Of course, this situation hasn’t been ideal. However, John says they’ve found the silver lining.
“This has given us a new way of looking at things for residents,” says McAninch. “We’re actually getting to know them a lot better. It’s more intimate, it’s one on one. We’re knowing their stories now.”