Soft toys bring comfort to seniors with dementia
An effective, drug-free way to calm and soothe is to give them a soft toy they can cuddle and interact with.
We share some wonderful lifelike robotic pets and explain how they help seniors with dementia, the benefits of a faux pet over a real animal, and why it’s not demeaning to offer someone a stuffed animal to see if they’re interested.
Special robotic pets are lifelike and engaging
We found amazing robotic stuffed toy cats, kittens, and pups called the Joy for All Pet Companions. They’re lifelike and engaging as well as being cute and cuddly soft.
They’re battery powered, so they can purr, meow, bark, move, and respond in realistic ways when petted or hugged.
The 1 minute video above shows how these pets move, “talk,” and respond to petting.
There are 5 different pets to choose from:
The full size pets are a bit of an investment at $110 (the kitten is $65), but dozens of customers have said that it’s well worth the price to see their older adult so calm, happy, and engaged.
Joy for All orange tabby cat
We’ve seen a Joy for All cat bring cheer to a memory care community
The DailyCaring team had a chance to observe one of the Joy for All robotic cats in action at a local memory care community. The residents loved her!
Some older adults think these are real animals and feel a sense of purpose when they pet and “care” for them. Others may simply enjoy them as a fun, cuddly interactive toy.
No matter what, it’s clear that these toy companion pets add comfort and fun to seniors’ lives.
Benefits of stuffed animals for seniors with dementia
Many caregivers report that after giving their older adult a stuffed animal, they’ve seen positive results like:
- Increased happiness and calm
- Reduced agitation and anxiety
- Increased engagement through playing and talking with the stuffed animal
- Having a sense of purpose from caring for their pet
- Reliving happy memories of a previous pet
- Giving visitors (especially children) something to focus on and interact with for more successful visits
Benefits of a faux pet versus a live animal
Animal therapy is an excellent way to boost mood and calm agitation in people with dementia.
But keeping and caring for a live pet can be challenging for many seniors and caregivers and could even be a tripping hazard.
These animated, lifelike robotic pets are a great way to get the benefits of animal therapy without any of the hassles.
Having a faux pet means:
- Nothing to feed, clean up after, care for, or worry about your older adult overfeeding
- No worries about safety, like biting or getting tripped
- It’s available on demand – anytime, day or night
- No worries about finding a senior living community that accepts live pets
- No need to wait for arranged visits from someone bringing a live animal
Stuffed animals aren’t demeaning
Some people might feel that it’s demeaning to give an older adult a stuffed animal. But if something is a safe source of enjoyment, does it really matter what other people think?
The most important thing is to find out if the person is interested or not. Perhaps offer them a less expensive stuffed cat or dog to see how they respond.
When there are few ways to improve someone’s quality of life, let’s not be so quick to discard a good option because it doesn’t seem age appropriate.
And let’s not forget that there are many healthy adults of all ages who still enjoy stuffed animals.
Recommended for you:
- 10 Affordable Products for People with Dementia That Increase Comfort and Calm
- 10 Fun, No-Fail Activities for People with Dementia
- 10 Easy Crafts for Seniors with Dementia: Inexpensive DIY Ideas
By DailyCaring Editorial Team
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