Caldwell Rotary Presents Donation to Benefit Memory Care Residents at Crane’s Mill

Rotary Donation -- July 2019 007Thanks to a generous grant from The Rotary Club of the Caldwells, residents in the memory care neighborhood of the Crane’s Mill Health Center have been provided with robotic cats, dogs and dolls to calm the effects of dementia-related anxiety, angst, fear and sun-downing. The contribution of $2,500 was given by Samantha McCoy, MSLIS, director of the West Caldwell Public Library and out-going President of the Rotary, to Marnie Bergen, LNHA, Associate Executive Director of the Crane’s Mill Health Center.

According to Ms. McCoy, “The members of the Rotary Club are very focused on every part of our community, whether they be young or old, healthy or infirmed, or anything in-between. With the challenges faced by the older generations, we viewed Alzheimer’s disease and its related complications as a real concern. Then, we looked at the effects that robotic companions can provide to older adults suffering from dementia. We were especially impressed that these animals can give dementia patients a sense of purpose when they care for it, a sense of calmness when they pet it, or simply, just a sense of comfort.”

Ms. Bergen, who has over 20 years of management experience in senior living agrees. “Many well documented studies support the fact that providing older adults with a robotic cat, dog or doll produces positive results in memory-challenged individuals. These can include:  increased happiness and calmness; reduced agitation and anxiety; and increased engagement. We are very grateful to the Rotary of the Caldwells for providing us with this bequest.”

Those in the Memory Care Unit at Crane’s Mill, echoes those same sentiments. “We have seen first-hand how these robotic animals and dolls calm residents suffering from dementia. Using these modalities is often preferable to medications. Again, we are so thankful to the Rotary for thinking of us.”

While the Crane’s Mill donation may be the most recent one given by the Rotary Club of the Caldwell, it is one of many. Living its mission of “Service Above Self,” the Rotary has also provided financial support to the Caldwell Food Pantry; the West Essex First Aid Squad; and Caldwell University. Currently, plans are to expand the robotic cats, dogs and dolls program to other senior communities in the area.