Brendoncare Froxfield, run by the charity, Brendoncare Foundation, is delighted that during recent months the residents have been enjoying time with mechanical cats and dogs.
Prior to the coronavirus pandemic, Brendoncare Froxfield used to receive a weekly visit from Pets As Therapy (PAT) dogs into the home to spend time with the residents. This was hugely beneficial for some of the residents, in terms of their well-being. The pets provided sensory stimulation, particularly for residents with dementia who would stroke and talk to the PAT dogs. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, these visits had to stop, so the staff decided to purchase mechanical cats and dogs as a substitute for the PAT dogs.
The mechanical pets have been a welcome alternative and some of the residents have become very attached to them. They cuddle and stroke them and also chat away to them. One resident, Robin Sherrard, is so attached to one of the cats that she keeps it in her room and is always talking to it. She calls it ‘The Cat’ and spends a lot of time holding and cuddling it. It has had a huge positive impact on her general well-being and she is very comforted by it. She is a collector of soft toys too.
Another resident is very attached to one of the dogs that he carries it around with him, with the dog’s head on his shoulder. He is often stroking and talking to it. When the resident has left the dog in his room, he regularly goes back to check the dog is OK!
Kay Reid, Activities Coordinator at Brendoncare Froxfield, said, “It’s lovely seeing the residents that use the pets, they are always smiling and enjoy conversations with their particular pet. The mechanical cats and dogs have been an excellent alternative to PAT dogs.
“We have been keeping the residents busy over recent months; they have particularly enjoyed listening to music that we have downloaded from our music therapist. Entertainers have also been visiting our lovely gardens and singing or playing the Ukulele to the residents. There have been quizzes and games too. There’s never a dull moment!”