S.A.F.E Placements stands for "Seeking Alternate Feline Environments - Placements." Simply put, adoptable older and appropriate cats are placed in settings such as nursing homes, hospices and other residential care facilities. This can be either as a resident "floor" cat or as pets for individual residents, depending on the type of facility.
As a rescue and adoption organization, we are always seeking safe, secure and stable environments to place kitties into as their furever home. This expanded version of the SAFE Place program that we started elsewhere, builds on the same tenets and philosophy as the original program, and seeks to fill the gap left when it became inactive due to time and budget constrictions. SAFE Placements is not affiliated with any other institutions or agencies and is a stand-alone program administered by LiFeline Adoptions, Inc.
Pet Assisted Therapy Extended Stay - Pilot Program
LiFeline Adoptions Inc is spearheading a pilot program as part of SAFE Placements, in an effort to find safe, long term living environments until permanently placed. This involves Pet Assisted Therapy whereby carefully screened cats will be made available by us in facilities to provide companionship, affection and love to residents there, as Pet Assisted Therapy kitties, but, in this case it will be on an extended basis.
We will maintain ownership and responsibility for the cat including food, litter and veterinary care, while the cat resides in the facility. Beyond the obvious benefits to residents, the cats will benefit from attention, affection, playtime, companionship and entertainment. Cats who are very social, outgoing, cuddly and otherwise mellow companions will enjoy being cared for while they stay there by multiple residents as well as staff.
LiFeline Adoptions will be hosting a community panel for all facility staff (and interested residents) to attend to learn about the program. If you are interested in trying this new program, please contact us right away and we will arrange to come out and meet you and a cat who we feel would be suitable for this. The cat will still be up for adoption into a forever home, but we want the facility to fall in love with the cat and decide to adopt the cat to keep!
Maybe most of us have heard about Pet Assisted Therapy (PAT), sometimes referred to as AFT - Animal Facilitated Therapy, whereby visitor animals are brought to any number of facilities such as nursing homes or hospices. Based on the axiom that most people benefit from the presence of an animal, this has been an important patient care activity. Many seniors going into a facility long-term, also miss their pets that they were unable to bring.
Whereas cats are less common as PAT visitors, they are becoming ubiquitous as resident, or floor cats as time goes on. Facilities adopt cats as their permanent resident from shelters, rescue groups or from individuals needing to give up their cats. Sometimes the facility even takes in a resident’s own pet and they become floor cats. The advantage for the adopter is that they know their cats and can place ones they know will be a perfect match such as lap-cats and gentle or older cats.
There are numerous, widely agreed on benefits of placing cats in nursing homes. They include such things as decreased sense of loneliness, decreased depression, and lower blood pressure and sometimes a sense of purpose as residents take on the role of ancillary caregivers to the cat on their floor. Sometimes there are unanticipated benefits of boarding or homing a cat in a facility.
It’s also not hard to believe the positive effect a cat has on the staff at a facility where the work can be very trying and the environment often full of sadness or stress. And, the presence of a resident cat in a nursing home floor, turns it from a facility to a home, solely because the cat is there!
We have placed a number of cats, especially docile older ones, in nursing homes over the last four years. The process is very simple. We match a cat to the facility requesting one (or two) and begin a care-plan for transitioning the cat into the facility.
Here are the pre-requisites for placement:
-Designation of a staff member to oversee placement of cat and ensure compliance with state health department regulations
-A plan to limit cat's access to areas such as food preparation or certain "dander free" areas
-Commitment to keeping cat indoors and a collar worn at all times
-Arrangements for annual veterinary exam (if permanent placement)
-An agreement to maintain contact with our rescue to monitor and or assist with placement
As with permanent adoptions and foster placements, all cats are fully vetted, vaccinated, spay/neuter and microchipped. They have all had recent veterinary health exams and are disease/organism free.
Cats placed into senior facilities or nursing homes will be done so for free but a donation is appreciated. In the cases of extended pet assisted therapy, LiFeline Adoptions will cover all food, litter and medical care until the cat is adopted or placed somewhere else.
LiFeline Adoptions will have a very active role in the placement and transition process. We will continue to stay in touch and do visits and check-ins on the cats and facility for as long as desired or necessary, depending on the setting.