Several failed attempts to redirect a stray away from Parkland Place, a long-term care home in Melfort, in 2017 ended up with a rescue that saved a kitten and has liberated residents.
Patches has had a positive impact since taking up permanent residence on the Memory Care house in the Melfort home three years ago.
Since Patches arrived as a kitten she is well trained on which residents are receptive to her visits and the rooms and surfaces she is not allowed to access in the Memory Care house.
“We had a resident that would have outbursts and fight with other residents,” explained Recreation Therapist Jacquie Sundelin. “When he saw the cat, he would settle down, pet it, and forget what he was upset about.”
Being in Patches’ company has decreased the administration of behavioural management medications and increased conversations among residents. Though not part of a formal pet therapy program, through physical contact with Patches, regular visits from a therapy dog, and hosting an annual petting zoo, residents are benefitting from emotional support that is calming, decreasing agitation and depression, minimizing boredom, and adding purpose to their days.
With animal care and advice provided by a local vet and the ongoing support of their Resident and Family Council, pets and animals will be an integral part of daily living at Parkland Place for years to come.