"As Alzheimer's disease progresses, the need to nurture, love and be loved increases." American Assoc Geriatric Psychiatrists

November 13, 2017

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Alzheimer's Research › Media buzz ›




Personal Testimonies

 -I bought my step-mom, Betty, a Memorable Pets calico cat.  “She has had Cali since December and I can’t begin to tell you what an important part of her life that cat has become.  Betty is in assisted living and loves cats.  Cali has a special place right next to Betty’s chair but more important, she has a special place in Betty’s heart.  Cali is held, stroked and talked to daily.  Thank you so much for these life-like animals who enrich the lives of so many.” Diana, Coudersport PA

  -“I bought a Memorable Pets dog for my husband who is in the late stages of Alzheimer’s. His reaction to his memorable pet is certainly positive, he has evenings where he’ll sit with the dog on his lap and caress it.  He is always talking to it, like you would a puppy…he will sometimes carry it around as well.   Jeanne, Manchester NH

 -“I liked how well the dog was constructed, the softness and how floppy the dog was.  I know from my time in a nursing home while my mother in law was there that many of the people with dementia really preferred stuffed animals, especially ones that were soft furred that could be cuddled and stroked.  That seemed to sooth them when they felt unsettled, which was my intent when ordering.   Deborah, Greensboro NC

 -“We gave our Mother “Douglas” for Christmas. She at first was creeped out by him because he was always looking at her, she did get over that. She would have him sit in her chair with her and she would pet on him and talk to him.  Unfortunately, Mom passed away March 2. I do know she grew to love Douglas up until the time she was hospitalized. I have Douglas now, I talk to him about Mom and pet and love on him.”  Kris, Memphis TN 

 -“I bought the Schnauzer for my mother-in-law with Alzheimer’s. We had to bring her dog to live with us when she went to assisted living and she misses him.  I gave her the dog on Easter Sunday and she was delighted.  Several staff members commented on how much he looked like her dog, Miles, and called him “mini-me.” I am hoping he brings her some comfort as she is agitated quite often.  I love the softness of the animal and hair and she loves him so the feedback is great.”  Linda, Shreveport LA

 -“I love how soft both the body and fur are. It is cuddly and I like that it can be washed.  It is comforting just to see it resting on the bed or chair. It has a resting pose similar to that of our actual cat. I had been looking for over a year for a suitable stuffed animal and was so pleased to find this one!  Thank you!”   Sherry, Lexington KY

 

Professional Testimonies

 -I love this product and wonder why we have not had something like it available long before now! So many times over the years, I have been assisting a person with a memory disorder who could have been very comforted by one of these soft, cuddly and very, very life-like pets.  Overwhelming research has shown that pets can be an enormous source of comfort and companionship to older adults. However, many people with moderate to severe memory impairments can no longer own and care for a dog or a cat. Depending on the degree of a person’s memory impairment, a pet like this could be an enormous source of security, comfort and therapeutic activity. I have already told my family that if I develop a memory disorder, I want them to put a Memorable Pet on my lap and have a back up in the closet—preferably a black lab. What a great idea!

Paula M. Taliaferro- Education Consultant, Central Ohio Area Agency on Aging Support Group Facilitator for the Central Ohio Alzheimer’s Association since 1995.

 

 -I am a nurse on a secure Alzheimer’s care unit where we use a person-centered care approach with our patients. They respond well to gentle attention and care, and they also show a desire to give love and care. Two years ago, when I first met Betty, I was impressed by her attachment to Caldonia, her Memorable Pet cat. She clearly loves Caldonia and does not like to be separated from her. As a nurse, I became a bit concerned that Betty would become upset if Caldonia became lost, so we called her family and asked for a back-up Caldonia—just in case. Betty has difficulty carrying on a conversation due to dementia, but she understands who Caldonia is when people ask about her and is always ready to show her off. Betty and Caldonia receive a lot of positive attention! If Caldonia is moved from Betty’s bed when someone is helping her get up or get dressed, Betty can become upset if she thinks Caldonia is not being handled with great care. Betty nurtures Caldonia by tucking her in bed with her and caressing her. It is very sweet to watch. Caldonia helps to calm Betty, especially if she is feeling agitated, and she helps to give Betty a nurturing, loving feeling. Their special bond has been a true gift for Betty and for us to watch. Sarah Burdine- RN 

 

 -“Your company through comfort care for Alzheimer's is a great opportunity to make a difference in someone’s life and change the world one pet at a time!”   Kim, RN in Tampa FL for 25 years 

 

  -Bettina promotes Memorable Pets at the American Association of Geriatric Psychiatrists Conference in Washington DC! This was her first national conference / trade show.  "I was amazed at how much attention our Memorable Pets received. The pets were certainly why people stopped by our table. As I explained how they were used for therapy, security and comfort, I received many confirmations on the concept."  One psychiatrist even said to Bettina in a low voice ” we spend so much money on research, but it really things like what you are doing that makes all the difference in people’s lives”. This was very gratifying to hear!

  -And the winner is…. The Dog! A Japanese study gave a toy gorilla, tiger and a dog to participants with severe dementia. Hands down, the dog was favored over the other toy pets. More importantly, the study showed a rise in happiness levels and a decline in agitation levels when the participants were with the toy pets, especially the stuffed animal toy dog. The study states that most of the patients were interested in the toy dog after dinner, and they looked much happier and less agitated, although a few fended off from it. The researchers noticed that the patients became accustomed to the toy dog day by day. The toy dog was a useful therapeutic tool for patients with severe dementia. Email me at  Bettina@memorablepets.com  and I will send you the complete study.


An Unexpected Friendship with Gertie and NBA Star Kenneth Faried

An Unexpected Friendship

                Gertie is her name and his name is Kenneth… Kenneth Faried, the star NBA player for the Denver Nuggets. At first glance, they seem to have nothing in common, but they actually have an AMAZING friendship. Gertie first met Kenneth several years ago at  a Special Olympics event with the Denver Nuggets NBA basketball team. Being from Colorado, Gertie has always been a big fan of his. A year later, Gertie was in a Down Syndrome fashion show and her escort was Kenneth! They bonded immediately and never looked back.

                                      

            In 2016 at the beginning of the school year, Gertie told her mother she wanted to invite Kenneth to come and be her Show and Tell friend at her school. Gertie’s mother, Heidi, contacted Kenneth and invited him. Kenneth didn’t bat an eye; he just asked when and where and said he would be there. Both of their lives changed and they have never been the same since.

              Memorable Pets & Believable Babies learned of this story because Gertie’s mother bought one of our handmade art Reborn baby dolls for Gertie’s birthday on October 13th. After her birthday had come and gone, Heidi reached out to us to tell us how happy Gertie was with her new baby. I asked Heidi if Gertie had given the baby doll a name and she then explained to me the friendship and love that Gertie has for Kenneth Faried, the NBA star. Heidi said Gertie named her baby “Kenneth”, even though her new reborn baby doll is a girl.

          

                 Heidi explained that she ordered the doll through Memorable Pets & Believable Babies because we give 10% of the proceeds to Alzheimer’s research. She told me that Gertie has Down Syndrome and that over 50% of people with Down Syndrome get Alzheimer’s when they are young adults, often in their 30’s. Heidi said it is something she is passionate about and that her grandfather had Alzheimer’s.

                Heidi went on to say that Kenneth is such an amazing person. He always makes sure to give Gertie a hug or high five at the games, and he even has let her warm up with him before a game. Heidi said her family is truly blessed to have him in their lives. One cute story that Heidi shared is about how Gertie signed her own gym shoe and gave it to Kenneth. So, after the Nuggets’ last game of the year, Kenneth ran up to Gertie, took off his shoe, signed it, and said now they both have each other’s shoe!

                

To make things even more interesting, our daughter Jessica went to Morehead State University in Kentucky during the same time Kenneth Faried played basketball for Morehead State in 2011. Kenneth put Morehead State on the map by upsetting the University of Louisville’s team during the first round of the NCAA tournament. Kenneth was drafted by the Denver Nuggets in the first round of the 2011 NBA draft. 

       

                Last year Gertie wrote to The Ellen Show with a request to share her story about her best friend Kenneth Faried. Ellen accepted the request, and they are coordinating schedules to be on The Ellen Show in the near future!

           

                Heidi’s last message to me said it has truly been amazing to watch Gertie and Kenneth together and to see how much love they have for each other. She thanked me for the beautiful baby and for helping make it possible to one day find a cure for Alzheimer’s. Heidi ended her message with, “You are making the world a better place!”

                         

        Kenneth's nickname is the "Manimal" so Gertie nicknamed herself the "Fanimal"!

 


Bettina Dickson Rusher
Bettina Dickson Rusher

Author

We comfort people with Alzheimer's with realistic looking stuffed animal dogs and cats and baby dolls as therapy companions!



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