Riding for the Disabled Association (RDA) is launching Tea With a Pony, a new meaningful activity to help those living with dementia and other long term conditions. The new initiative launches on 17 May, to coincide with Alzheimer’s Society Dementia Action Week.
RDA created Tea With a Pony in response to the growing number of people living with dementia, for whom horse-riding may not be suitable but who might be helped by some other form of animal-assisted activity involving horses.
Tea with a Pony is a simple yet very effective session and RDA are now inviting care home residents and those living in their own homes to enjoy a cup of tea and cake, at the participating RDA groups, whilst revisiting memories from years gone by. It is hoped there will be RDA groups all over the UK providing these sessions enabling an inclusive feel to all those who could benefit. It is also becoming clear that these sessions also impact the carers and family members in a positive way.
Tea with a Pony began at Cotswold RDA in 2018 and it was found for some participants, the connection with horses is much deeper. One lady got so much from her session that her daughter said:
“It seems to have helped her memory, I’m not sure how, but it has, and, more than anything, it’s been like a light has turned back on again. It’s the warmth of an animal, an animal that trusts you – the present fades away and it takes her back to just warm memories.”
On 19 May RDA will be hosting an online conference to celebrate not only the launch of the project but also as part of the Alzheimer’s Society Dementia Action Week #DAW2021. This conference will explain the reasons behind beginning this worthwhile project, the benefits found and also how RDA are using the Dementia Friends initiative. RDA will have guest speakers along with members of the steering group who have put this project together.
If you are interested in attending the Tea with a Pony conference, please contact Lucy Wake on firstname.lastname@example.org or register at https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_eXHBC1UiQnmNBgVPM6zNSg.