A nursing home called Memory Care gather with Pima Animal Care Center, and together they created an exciting program called “Bottle Babies.” The program allows the senior residents to look after kittens who are in need of continuous care.
The idea is a win-win situation as the kittens require a lot of attention while the senior living residents from the nursing home have a lot of time on their hands to offer. Besides, the kittens make them feel like grandparents again. Rebecca Hamilton, the health service director at Catalina Springs, wrote in an email:
“We can place one of the kittens in their hands, and suddenly they’re not searching, they’re not stressed.”
It was Hamilton that had the idea to bring the kittens to the facility. She’s a veteran kitten fosterer at Pima Animal Care Center and knows how important for the young kittens to have constant care. She thought that having the residents from the nursing home caring for them might be mutually helpful.
She was right; staff noticed a positive response straight away as residents became happier and more engaged. For example, residents who have difficulties communicating would suddenly say things like ‘This kitten is hungry’ or ‘I love this little baby.’
With time, it was clear that the program became something a lot bigger than anticipated. It became essential to help residents to have a more fulfilling life and improve their health too, as the feeling of being useful and productive can often be the best remedy when dealing with an incurable disease such as Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and Dementia.
In fact, the program has had such a positive impact that Pima Animal Care Center is proposing to expand it, and numerous other animal welfare organizations have shown interest in taking part. The idea is to create awareness around pet therapy that is known to benefit patients immensely.
While the plans to expand the “Bottle Babies” are underway, the residents at Catalina Springs continue to enjoy the visit of the kittens that they so much love and care for. Some even take the kittens for little walks around the facilities, as if they really were little babies.
The kittens make a hole difference in the life of the grandmas and grandpas at the nursing home. And you can help by supporting Prima Animal Care Center and sharing their good deeds so they can continue to bring happiness to people’s life.