These were very popular at the nursing home that I used to work at. They are essentially battery-powered stuffed animals that are taking a perpetual nap. You can see them breathing in and out, and the cats even purr softly. They’re very soft, and at first glance, very realistic. They’re not going to fool someone on the early stages of the disease, but a lot of people in the middle-to-late stages of dementia found comfort in having a furry pet nearby. They are very soft and petting them can be very relaxing. I even know of a woman who always slept cuddled around her cat, which her family told me she had done with her cat home.
Of course, this activity is probably best for animal lovers (duh), and if you can find a cat/dog that reminds them of an old pet, that’s even better! However, they only come in one size, so if the person with memory loss likes St. Bernards, they’ll have to settle for a St. Bernard Puppy. I’ve only ever seen them on the internet, but if you know of a brick and mortar store that sells them, please let me know in the comments. Otherwise, just type “breathing stuffed animal,” “breathing cat toy”, “breathing stuffed dog”, etc. into google and you’ll find links to purchase them, mostly on sites such as Amazon.com.
For those of you who want to see them in action, check out this video below.