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Hebrew Home at Riverdale provides 24/7 furry companions for residents

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Residents at the Hebrew Home at Riverdale are feeling the love from some furry companions who help them through the day.

Elizabeth Pagan used to have two cats. One passed away unexpectedly, and the other she had to put up for adoption when she moved.

Now at the Hebrew Home, where she's been living after going through a stroke, she has Snowflake. Snowflake provides comfort for her, even though its not real.

Pagan is one of the residents who paid for their own sensory cat. There are 17 of them for each section of the Hebrew Home, available 24/7.

"Residents who are alert and aware will often use the cat as a gateway to talk about the real pets in their lives, which brings up loss and sadness, but that's something we can work through together," says Catherine Farrell, director of therapeutic arts.

The Hebrew Home has real dogs that visit each day, but go home after a certain time, so adding the sensory cats to the therapy program was important to them to offer.

 

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