Caring for Orphaned Kittens Gives Seniors with Dementia Purpose

Published In Blog

December 9th, 2016

A wonderful match has been made between kittens and a community of elderly people in an Arizona senior living center.

Rebecca Hamilton, the health service director at Catalina Springs in Arizona, is also a committed foster parent to animals in her community. Her love for the volunteer job got her thinking — why not pair orphaned kittens with seniors who have the time to care for them, and would enjoy the company?

Senior women playing with kittens

 

But Kittens are a Handful!

The kittens need round the clock feedings and attention, and the match between the Catalina Springs community and the Pima Animal Care Center was the perfect way to help save the kittens’ lives, and enrich the lives of the elderly residents.

“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,” Sharon Mercer, Executive Director at Catalina Springs told Hello Giggles. “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.”

Just looking at the pictures of the residents cuddling, feeding and caring for the little kittens is enough to melt your heart — and make you realize how great a program this is.

The ASPCA reports that there are 7.6 million companion animals in shelters right now. Imagine the impact if those animals were paired with senior citizens across the country for companionship, care, and even exercise. Even foster programs like this one at Catalina Springs could help enrich the lives of shelter animals before they find their forever homes.

Peaches and Turtle are a Hit

Peaches and Turtle are the little ones being taken care of in these photos released by the Pima Animal Care Center. The adorable kittens were incredibly tiny when they arrived at the senior care center, weighing in at just 7 ounces each. The attentive and loving care and feedings that started back in October have saved these little lives.

But taking care of the kittens didn’t just give the Catalina Springs residents something to do — it calmed them, relaxed them, and gave them love and purpose. There are plenty of smiles going around too.

In the end — it’s hard to see who saved who here. The kittens got a second chance at life, and the seniors were given the opportunity to show love and affection that made everyone feel good.

What a beautiful and heartwarming story, right? Don’t forget to share it with your friends!


Image Source: Pima Animal Care

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