Elderly people can be fragile at times, they need extra care and interactions so that they will not feel isolated and lonely – a common problem among elders. In Arizona, the Pina Animal Care Shelter knew just right how to solve this problem – they turned to a senior care facility for help. The newborn kitties in the shelter are in desperate need of somebody to feed and look after them. The people who could nurse for them should be caring, love animals, and have abundant time, and yes, that’s the perfect description for elders!
The unexpected call for help got many people questioning their decision: “To some, it may seem peculiar at first: Residents who are in need of around-the-clock care themselves, given the task to care for these young kittens,” says Catalina Springs Memory Care Executive Director Sharon Mercer. “But there are skills, emotions, and needs that do not just leave a person with Dementia or Alzheimer’s. The desire to give love and receive love remains.”
The program was pitched by the health services director Rebecca Hamilton. Of course, the elders could not take care of the little felines alone, as they also had assistance for it too. Rebecca also volunteered to foster felines. She realized that nurturing and taking care of cats was bringing her a lot of contentment and delight, and she and knew she had to share it with others, especially for those in need of joy like the seniors.
The first process of the project was a huge success, as both the kittens and the elderly had improved mentally and physically. They were asked to take care of two newborns, Turtle, and Peaches, which both gained double in weight. For patients in the facility, were enjoying the project so much and were grateful that they all contributed to taking care of the animals. ”The kittens have given us the opportunity to nurture this human condition that lies in each and every one of our residents,” says Mercer – a patient. The joy that the elderly get from bottle feeding, socializing, and cuddling needy newborns is immense – and the kittens sure will grow up healthy and loved.
When an animal shelter in Arizona needed extra hands, they turned to a senior care facility for help
At first, it was considered unsuitable as elders are the ones who need care themselves, let alone taking care of newborn animals
“But there are skills, emotions, and needs that do not just leave a person with Dementia or Alzheimer’s”
“The desire to give love and receive love remains”
The project was an unexpectedly huge success, as both sides were progressing better, mentally and physically
“The kittens have given us the opportunity to nurture this human condition that lies in each and every one of our residents”
A simple, even peculiar idea turned out to bring tremendous joy and meaning to every participant!