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September is World Alzheimer’s Awareness Month. In the spirit of raising awareness for Alzheimer’s Disease and decreasing the stigma surrounding Dementia, we wanted to share a remarkable story of how Petsies, custom stuffed animals, can offer comfort to those diagnosed with Dementia, and their families.

Petsie helps family dealing with Dementia

It’s a hard decision for the entire family when a loved one needs more care and makes the decision to move them into a nursing home or assisted living facility. Teri and her family made that decision for their mom Sandy. Unfortunately, Sandy, who suffers from Dementia had to leave her adorable dog Roxy behind. Many nursing home facilities don’t allow pets. Teri said after moving in, she saw how much her mother missed her Roxy.  So she took matters into her own hands and ordered a Petsie.

“It was definitely an emotional purchase for me. I was hoping she would love it, but I was also fearful that it would make her sad. So I was so pleasantly surprised at her reaction,” said Teri. When Sandy saw her Petise for the first time, she was thrilled to be able to cuddle Roxy again! Sandy immediately recognized her furry companion. She hugged the Petsie close to her.

Watch Sandy’s heartwarming reaction to receiving her Petsie of Roxy.

According to Teri, “Every time I speak with (Sandy), she thanks me and tells me how much it means to her and that it’s the best gift anybody is ever given her.” Sandy often falls asleep while petting her Roxy lookalike. She said her new “Roxy” brings her comfort and helps her get through difficult days.

Teri said Sandy is less lonely and more cheerful now that she can cuddle her dog again. She is often found speaking to her Roxy Petsie calling her a “good dog”, just like she did with her pet! Teri said Sandy feels as though her real Roxy is watching over her and easing the struggles of Dementia. She says other residents in the facility love Sandy’s custom stuffed animal, especially when Sandy brings her Petsie along with her on walks.

Pet stuffed animals help comfort Dementia patients

An estimated 5.7 million people in the U.S. are living with Alzheimer’s disease. The experience is typically very isolating and frightening for all patients and their families. There are studies that stuffed animals (especially ones that look like a pet or past pet) give Dementia patients comfort. Fortunately, thanks to Petsies, those with Alzheimer’s or Dementia can still feel connected and comforted by their pets, even when they aren’t by their side.