Horses visit local assisted living community, bringing cheer to residents during pandemic

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KENT, Ohio (WJW) — A local assisted living community invited unusual visitors on Friday in hopes of bringing smiles to its residents.

Kentridge Assisted Living, like all such facilities across the state, has had to restrict visitors to only staff.

Its residents’ family members can only visit from outside of their closed windows.

“Before that we would always have live entertainment. We would do large communal events, movie night, happy hours every Friday, cooking demonstrations — all of those is what we would be doing,” said John McAninch, Kentridge, Executive Director.

This Friday the residents had a different view from their windows.

Horses from the Happy Trains Farm and Animal Sanctuary in Ravenna parading past their windows, visiting through the glass.

“I want to see my residents amazed. I want to see them smiling. I want to see them just beaming from ear to ear,” said Kentridge Activities Director Kaylin Miller.

The visit, a first for both the horses and for the assisted living community, did just that.

“The horses are doing the best that they possibly can in this situation and I’m proud of them for walking right up to the windows because they live in a farm setting so it’s pretty incredible to see them do this,” said Kayleigh Miller of Happy Trails Sanctuary.

“We have to think outside the box. We have to find ways to keep the residents engaged throughout the day. Having them do something like this, it’s new, and we are in new times so we are going to keep working on things like this,” said McAninch.

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