Improved healthcare systems have had a positive effect on our longevity. So, with people living longer, there are also some physical conditions like Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s Disease. Such diseases make it impossible for the patient to be taken care at home by a partner or family member.
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Nursing homes provide care to residents who may have nobody else to look after them. Or, perhaps they are inflicted with an incurable disease that requires round-the-clock care and assistance.
Catalina Springs Memory Care
One nursing home offering care is Catalina Springs Memory Care. The resident care coordinator at this institution, Antoinette Manning, said that there are patients like Greg Moore, suffering from memory loss, who remain aloof and don’t socialize. That’s because, after a productive and active life, they find themselves in a situation where they need help at every step. So, this leaves them depressed and frustrated.
To lift the mood of the residents, Catalina Springs Memory Care adopted a program called Bottle Babies. Under this program, there are two resident kittens that are given to the elderly patients to be bottle-fed. Many of the patients, who have been looking for a purpose, suddenly find a new purpose—taking care of the kittens. Credit goes to the health service director, Rebecca Hamilton. She’s also a cat fosterer at Pima Animal Care Center and figured that both the kittens and the residents would benefit in this win-win situation.
Effects of Bottle Babies Program
The Bottle Babies program has had multiple and positive impacts on many of the residents. Some of them who were unable to form complete sentences were able to communicate better with the kittens, Turtle and Peaches. They felt like they were grandparents. Patients have been said to be less stressed with the kittens around. In addition, the nursing staff noticed a marked change in the mood of the residents after the Bottle Babies program. They seemed more active and happier. So, the feeling of having a purpose worked better than any prescribed medicine.
Turtle and Peaches had a magical effect on Greg Moore. As Moore takes each under his arm every morning and goes for a walk, he’s become less stiff with others since he’s been interacting with the kittens.
It’s not easy being old and dependent on others. Especially after an active and productive life. However, nursing homes can do some simple acts to uplift the mood of their residents and give them a new sense of purpose. For example, Lantern Assisted Living in Ohio is changing the rooms so they look less like hospital rooms and are more like comfortable rooms in real homes.
Another example is an art exhibition by its residents organized by Clemson Downs. Yet another example is pet therapy being used increasingly by the elderly residents to give a renewed sense of purpose. Every little act helps in making them feel respected and loved.
If you have a story to share about life in a nursing home or any opinion on ways to improve these homes, please write in the Comments section below. You might like to check out 20 Photos of Love That Knows No Age Limits Or Barriers.