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Singapore – Mr. Theo Kok Ren is a man of few words, but cats always like him.

Last Friday, he sat petting the cat and rubbing its ears while watching the cat stretch out.

“I love cats and dogs. They’re so cute,” the 47-year-old said with a smile.

After suffering a stroke, Mr. Theo’s right hand is weakened, but he can use his left hand to stroke his furry friend.

He was one of the residents of the National Trade Union Congress (NTUC) Nursing Home (Chai Chi), where he was able to play with 13 cats as part of a program to help improve residents’ mobility.

The program, called Purrs for Hearts, was launched on June 28 at the NTUC Health Nursing Home, Jurong West.

Sponsored by Wildflower Studio, an art jamming cat cafe, this monthly program targets residents with mobility problems, such as amputee patients and bedridden seniors, helping them feed, carry, and interact with cats. Show them how to use the toys and play with them.

It will be piloted in two nursing homes until December.

The cats were brought to the center by Volkswagen Singapore.

Siti Zubaida, a senior physiotherapist at Chai Chi Home, says that dogs and horses are often used in animal assistance activities, but cats are preferred when residents are afraid of large animals or cannot interact with dogs for religious reasons. may play a role, he said. reason.

Jack Shim, director of the Chai Chi Home center, said residents were excited about the session, especially those who had or played with cats.

Siti said petting and stroking the cat can improve joint mobility, and lifting and cuddling the cat is similar to the strengthening exercises performed during a physical therapy session.

Interacting with a cat can also stimulate the senses, especially for stroke survivors. Practice Makes Perfect: Cats Help Nursing Home Residents Improve Mobility

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