A True Thankful Story to Warm Your Heart

November 25, 2020
kat simons
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Meet Mrs. Bankston, a resident at Canterbury Nursing center.

"We have doing a pilot program with robotic pets for our residents who live in assisted living and our nursing center.  

Limiting the spread of coronavirus has meant less in-person contact with family members for older adults living in senior living communities like Westminster-Canterbury on Chesapeake Bay. It also has meant social distancing and mask-wearing when family does visit.  

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Unfortunately, the virus has created a world where many of us can’t hug our loved ones. Westminster-Canterbury has found a way to provide that tactile experience you get with hugs. We are doing a pilot program providing animatronic pets for senior residents in our Assisted Living and Hoy Nursing Center. 

Meet Buttercup the cat and dogs, Angel and Sammy, named by our residents.  These animatronic pets look and sound like a real cat or dog and they are something our residents can hold, pet and hug. Built-in sensors respond to motion and touch. Just ask our resident Grace Bankston who has not let go of Angel since he arrived. She even brought the dog down with her when her daughter, G.G. Conklin came to visit. According to G.G., 

“Particularly during this time of COVID and with the need to forego the familiar hugs with my mother, I realized she was yearning for the family love and physical contact as much as we grown children were longing for it. 

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One day I was notified by the Westminster Canterbury nursing staff that my mother had been given an animatronic dog by the Westminster-Canterbury Foundation to somewhat help in redirecting that void.  At the next “window visit,” I was amazed to see the positive change in my mother and the joy she receives from having this small, soft, animated dog in her lap as she moves throughout Westminster Canterbury and enjoys its movements and responses to her conversations

As she celebrates her 100th birthday, I applaud Westminster Canterbury nursing staff for keeping her engaged in their wonderful community atmosphere and for their continued creativity.  Our entire family is most grateful!”"

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