Triple-S Advantage announced an initiative to deliver stuffed animals to Alzheimer’s and other dementia patients to promote their social interaction and emotional response, as part of its corporate social responsibility program.
The project is aligned with the use of stuffed animals in patients with dementia who have withdrawn and do not interact with their environment, company officials said. The initiative, called “Close to your heart,” is taking place in the context of International Alzheimer’s Month.
The initiative to give patients a teddy bear comes at a time when the residents of these homes cannot receive visits from their relatives and physical displays of affection due to measures to protect them from COVID-19, said Wanda Carrión, Triple-S Advantage medical director.
“The teddy bear is something that can offer them comfort, and they can hold it and hug it at times when they cannot receive the hugs from their relatives,” she said. “Also, along with the bears, cards that our employees’ children have prepared the residents of these homes will be handed out, as a sign of love and support.”
The use of stuffed animals in patients with some degree of dementia can be positive as it has been found to help them control their anxiety, counteract boredom and offer a feeling of closeness in times of uncertainty, she said.
Alzheimer’s is one of the fastest-growing health conditions in Puerto Rico and is currently the fourth cause of death on the island, she added.