Thanks to a generous donation, the patients at Alzheimer’s Community Care are enjoying the company of new furry friends—robotic cats and dogs.
Created by Hasbro, the Joy for All Companion Pets provide the fun and love of a pet to the patients without the responsibility of a real animal.
“I have cried every day for a week seeing how happy it makes [the patients],” said Kimberley Eades, the program manager at the Boca Raton day center. “The pets have brought out of them things that we can’t bring out as people.”
Sitting at tables, the patients giggle and comb the animals, which have sensors that react to touch. The animals bark, wag their tongues, move their heads, and even roll over if you pet them just right. These interactions have shown to less anxiety and agitation in the patients, as well as bringing them joy.
Through a grant, one of the day centers was able to purchase a cat and a dog and a call was put out for donations to ensure the patients at the remaining 10 centers could do the same. Nancy Schiller, whose father had Alzheimer’s and husband is showing early signs, heard about the call for donations to bring the pets to the remaining 10 centers and stepped up.
Now, all 11 centers have a dog and a cat.
At the Boca Raton center, the patients took a vote to name the barking pup, Ace, and the cuddly cat, Bonita. Last week, the pets ceremoniously received their collars with a name tag.
If you would like to donate more pets to the center, or find out how else to help, visit alzcare.org/donate.
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