A Midlothian, Virginia assisted living facility teamed up with Richmond Animal Care and Control (RACC)) for a win-win idea for kittens and seniors.
Residents at Morningside of Bellgrade in Midlothian spend time cuddling with kittens as part of a new fostering program. Now, RACC expects to bring the program to other area facilities.
Immediately, you can tell it’s a tremendous idea with potential for similar programs everywhere.
“RACC is partnering with the Morningside of Bellgrade to foster shelter kittens, and the results couldn’t be sweeter,” the shelter posted on Facebook.
Win-Win for Kittens and Seniors
Through the program, seniors in assisted living get to spend time loving on kittens and puppies. As a result, the animals are socialized as they prepare for their forever homes.
“Residents get to snuggle and cuddle RACC kittens that need a little TLC. If there ever was a win-win, this is it!”
For some residents, it’s the only time they can spend with animals. In some cases, residents are confined to their rooms but love visits from the foster kittens.
Others have their own pets, like resident Charles Elan, who says, “It’s real relaxing. I love animals, anyway. Some of my best friends have been animals,” he told WTVR CBS6.
“It’s great for us as residents, but then the people who will receive these little bundles of fur have the opportunity to have pets that have been loved [and] played with,” said Elan.
Seniors and Kittens Love Their Together Time
Morningside of Bellgrade regularly shares pictures of their residents spending time with the foster kittens.
As you can see, one of their residents has become a “kitten whisperer.”
“Here’s a video of “Nellie the Kitten Whisperer” with Midnight, one of our foster kittens from Richmond Animal Care and Control.”
As part of efforts to enrich residents’ lives, animals play a big part. Most recently, they enjoyed pet therapy with a Halloween Doggy Parade. The pet-friendly facility has a puppy mascot named Lucy.
Everyone Needs Snuggles
Morningside of Bellgrade’s Sarah Nelson-Bush, an animal adopter herself, came up with the idea.
“We all need need something cuddly and purry to snuggle up with,” says Nelson-Bush.
🐈 💖 Stress Relief and Socializing 💖🐈
RACC’s Robin Youngs says fostering kittens provides stress relief for seniors. In return, the socializing helps them decide what kind of home the kittens are best suited for.
“They’re great stress relievers when you’re lonely,” said Young. “This is the second pair of kittens that they’ve fostered for us. Sharing their love with people that may not be able to have pets anymore or are a little lonely, miss having their pets. It just makes us smile,” she said.
See the video from WTVR CBS6: