It is well known that pets can often reach people with Alzheimer's on a level we cannot. I experienced this first hand with my beloved Romanian soul mate when he had dementia. One day I took him a little stuffed animal, which he loved dearly and named "The Little Yellow One." We played games with it and giggled like children at play. It was a way for me to connect with him. After that I took him more stuffed animals and he loved each one more than the one before.
However, taking care of an actual pet -- feeding and cleaning the litter box of a cat for example -- can be more than an elderly person with dementia is able to handle. Plus, if the person is living in a facility, that facility probably doesn't allow real pets.
Enter Hasbro's battery-operated toy companion cat -- made especially for seniors. This cat looks extremely life like and interacts with you. In fact it looks so real it often startles me when I walk into a room and see it.
This cat meows realistically, purrs and moves and blinks its eyes when you pet it. It licks its paws and even turns on its back so you can pet its belly!
I took it with me to a memory care facility to try it out with My Ladies with Alzheimer's I volunteer to visit each week. All three loved it! One even held the cat on her lap, thought it was real, and talked to it while gently petting it.
I highly recommend this stuffed animal, which can inspire spontaneous smiles, laughter and warm memories as well as serve as a loyal companion to all seniors, and especially to those with Alzheimer's.
The cat is available in three colors -- silver, creamy white and orange tabby. It's available at JoyForAll.com. The cost is $100 -- well worth the price!
Marie Marley is the award-winning author of Come Back Early Today: A Memoir of Love, Alzheimer's and Joy, and the co-author (with Daniel C. Potts, MD, FAAN) of Finding Joy in Alzheimer's: New Hope for caregivers. Her website (ComeBackEarlyToday.com) contains a wealth of information for Alzheimer's caregivers.