You might not think that seniors with dementia and homeless kittens have much in common. And while that’s usually true, two organizations in Tucson, Arizona have proven that they’re perfect for each other.
Catalina Springs Memory Care Facility, a home for patients with dementia and Alzheimer’s, knows from experience that their residents need stimulation and meaningful contact with others or they can fall into deep depression.
Pima Animal Care Center knows that kittens need warmth and affection to survive. And by having the seniors with dementia care for the kittens, both the seniors and the kittens have a little more sunshine in their lives.
Although dementia and Alzheimer’s disease can’t be cured, their progression can be slowed with treatment and care, including creative treatments like looking after kittens.
The residents of Catalina Springs Memory Care Facility had some free time in their schedule and were happy to help the poor, orphaned kittens. And not only did the arrangement help the kittens, it also benefitted the seniors, as well.
The first kittens to participate in the program were named Peaches and Turtle. They were scrawny and malnourished when they arrived, so volunteers bottle fed them and took them under their wing.
Besides being nice to snuggle up with, the kittens are stimulating and affectionate. And they also help reduce stress and give the seniors a sense of purpose.
The residents at Catalina Springs will feed and care the kittens until they’re big enough to be adopted.
Kittens that receive a lot of human contact at an early age do better than kittens that don’t interact with humans when they’re eventually adopted by their forever families. So whoever ends up adopting the kittens that have been cared for by residents of Catalina Springs Memory Care Facility will be getting some truly lovely cats!
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