Dementia Patients Are Nursing Abandoned Kittens Back to Health

Photo credit: Facebook
Photo credit: Facebook

From Country Living

Before they got help, the staff at Pima Animal Care Center in Arizona didn't have enough resources to save the kittens that needed around-the-clock care and bottle-feeding in order to survive. Now, all of that has changed thanks to an amazing collaboration.

The residents of Catalina Springs Memory Care, a nearby senior living facility that provides care for patients with dementia and Alzheimer's, are working with the shelter to foster ailing kittens, according to the county's website. The seniors recently saved the lives of two kittens named Peaches and Turtle, who weighed a mere 7 ounces each when they were rescued. After a few weeks of bottle feedings every two hours, the kittens' weights have doubled and they are on the mend.

The new partnership also has given 30 memory-loss patients an immense amount of joy. "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," said Sharon Mercer, the retirement home's executive director. "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 kittens have given us the opportunity to nurture this human condition that lies in each and every one of our residents."

The results have been amazing so far. "Many memories have started to resurface just by the act of caring for these babies," Rebecca Hamilton, the facility's health services director, told ABC News. "People began to bring up long-forgotten memories of a cat or a dog they had as a child."

Just look at the smiles on their faces! It's pretty obvious that both the kittens and residents love this new partnership.

"Loss of memory does not erase the ability to love-that's really hardwired," Hamilton added. "The kittens have enriched the lives in this center in indescribable ways."

(h/t ABC News)

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