SOFT, cuddly alpacas brought joy and tranquility to elderly residents.

Carlos and Teddy were smothered with hugs and cuddles when they visited Brookview Bupa Care Home in Alderley Edge.

Hearts melted as this pair of lovable creatures let women in their 80s snuggle into their fluffy fur.

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Knutsford Guardian: Residents were overjoyed to stroke alpacasResidents were overjoyed to stroke alpacas (Image: Bupa Care Homes)

The animal therapy session was arranged by the home’s wellbeing team after residents asked to see some animals.

One resident said: “What magnificent animals, they brought a sense of calmness to the home.

Knutsford Guardian: Research shows that cuddling alpacas can help people feel calm and relaxedResearch shows that cuddling alpacas can help people feel calm and relaxed (Image: Bupa Care Homes)

“In that moment cuddling the alpaca, nothing else mattered.”

Studies have shown that interacting with an alpaca can help release oxytocin, a natural hormone, which can reduce anxiety.

Knutsford Guardian: Woman overjoyed to stroke Carlos and TeddyWoman overjoyed to stroke Carlos and Teddy (Image: Bupa Care Homes)

With their large baleful eyes and fleecy fur, alpacas are remarkably endearing.

Another resident said: “I never thought in my lifetime I would get the chance to cuddle an alpaca.

Knutsford Guardian: Residents say the alpacas brought a 'sense of calmness'Residents say the alpacas brought a 'sense of calmness' (Image: Bupa Care Homes)

“It was amazing, thank you for organising such a lovely visit.”

Research has revealed that that animals can reduce loneliness, increase feelings of social support, and boost your mood.

Knutsford Guardian: Residents loved hugging the alpacasResidents loved hugging the alpacas (Image: Bupa Care Homes)

Tests have shown it can lower blood pressure, heart rate and cortisol levels, all associated with stress.

Carlos and Teddy visited the communal lounge and spent time with residents in their rooms.

Guests were able to ask their handlers lots of questions about alpaca welfare and care.

The session was designed to be a mood-boosting activity, stimulating all the senses.

Many residents were impressed by the calm nature of the alpacas as they strolled around the home.

Brookview home manager Sharon Helliwell-Short said: “It was such an incredible afternoon.

“We were thrilled by how overjoyed the residents were with the animal therapy session.

“Here at Bupa, we know that animal therapy is a great tool in boosting mental wellbeing and are proud to offer our residents animal experiences, alongside the rest of our activity programme, to promote their happiness and health.”

Carlos and Teddy were provided by Knightley Alpaca Trekking, a local company who facilitate wellbeing-orientated alpaca activities.

The company has many years’ experience in providing animals with the best standard of care.

As the event was such a success among staff and residents, the home hopes to plan more animal visits in the coming weeks.

The soft and luxurious fleece of alpacas is often compared to cashmere and can be turned into a wide array of products from yarn tapestries and blankets.