The happy wag of a dog’s tail, or the gentle purr of a loving cat, are things that can bring a smile of joy to any of us.
And for a senior in long-term care, the affection of a small pet can help reduce loneliness, anxiety, and depression.
Now, the Eldercare Foundation — formerly the Greater Victoria Eldercare Foundation — is spearheading a campaign to bring adorable, lifelike, stuffed animals to seniors in care.
“Working with local therapists, we’ve identified 225 seniors-in-care right now that could really benefit from this technology,” said Tom Arnold, director of development for the Eldercare Foundation.
The ‘technology’ Arnold is referring to is embedded within these Companion Pets, as they are known. It enables the stuffed dogs to turn their heads, wag their tales, hop a wee bit, as a puppy would, and give a happy, gentle bark. The stuffed cat, and the stuffed kitten, also turn their heads and open and close their eyes, and also not only purr, but gently vibrate, as a purring cat would.
The Eldercare Foundation is hoping the public will donate to their fundraising campaign.
“We’re asking for the public’s help to raise money to buy these animals to place with the seniors” says Arnold. “The pup is $200, the cat is $175, and the kitten is $120.”
But, of course, any tax-deductible donation will help.