No matter how old we are, we are never to old to play. As adults age into their retirement years, they just learn to play differently. Active competitive sports games like tennis, might be replaced with walking or swimming. Seniors may enjoy spending time with friends playing card games and classic board games, mind teasers, and crossword puzzles.
Sometimes it can be hard to watch people we love enter the golden years.
Especially if they become sick and their energy and enthusiasm for play isn't the same as it once was. Illness and life transitions can unfortunately lead to a more quiet, sedentary lifestyle at home. Anxiety and depression impact their ability to be happy without worry.
Many seniors have fond memories of pets they cared for throughout their life. Having a pet to care for not only provides companionship and unconditional love throughout the day, but it can give aging adults a purpose and reason to overcome any health obstacles they have in their way.
It's not always cost-effective to care for a real pet though, should they live on a small income from social security or in an unfortunate circumstance become ill. Who will then be responsible for care for a real pet?
Hasbro began designing interactive robot animal toys for kids many years ago with the introduction of FurReal Pets.
What they may not have predicted to hear as feedback with their FurReal pets was how comforting these animatronic toys were becoming to not just children, but aging adults.
Joy for All is a line of animatronic cat toys that help to promote happiness and reduce stress in the elderly.
Joy for All companion cats can be purchased in the colors, cream white, orange tabby and silver. These robotic toy cats have realistic feline fur, can meow, lift a paw, and purr.
Not only can the person interacting with the cat hear the purr, the cat toy includes VibraPurr, a technology where the cat vibrates while its purring to simulate the movement and realistic motions of a real cat.
There are sensors in the companion kitty in the left cheek, belly, back, head and brow. Touch the cat's left cheek and it will turn towards you. Pet the back of the head, and it might encourage the cat to purr. If you keep petting your cat on the back, don't be surprised if it might mimic the action of a real cat by rolling on its back so you can pet its belly. The more the cat is interacted with, the happier it might seem, maybe even closing its eyes and taking a nap.
It has been shared by caregivers that just placing 1 of these cats in the lap and care of an aging loved one, has allowed them to feel happier, more comfortable and relaxed. Others even shared that it has been a great way for little kids to begin to open up and connect with their grandparents during visits.
In our family, my grandmother lived with Alzheimers Disease for a decade, while we watched her memories for life and family members fade away. We were told that a toy or stuffed animal could help provide her some comfort during the more difficult days where she struggled with her illness. While she wasn't able to get relief through a companion pet toy, I do hope that these realistic cats can provide continue to provide stress relief, eliciting feelings of love and happiness with our aging family members.
The Joy for All program also supports Meals on Wheels so that seniors don't have to go hungry living in isolation.
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