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Local foundation brings companion pets for dementia, Alzheimer’s to Emerald Springs Senior Living Facility

YUMA, Ariz. (KYMA, KECY) - The Arizona Community Foundation has partnered with Emerald Springs Senior Living Facility to bring special companion pets to those with dementia and Alzheimer's.

Diana Wise started the “Share the Love” Helen Espinoza Foundation for her mother who lived at Emerald Springs and had dementia.

Dementia is the loss of cognitive functioning, thinking, remembering and reasoning.

Her mother passed away in 2020 due to COVID-19 complications and she was never able to give her mother the companion pet she wanted.

Now she is working toward bringing companion pets to senior living facilities in Yuma to help with the symptoms of dementia and Alzheimer's.

“There are so many benefits from this animal. Especially the isolation, a lot of them do not have family here. They live out of town and so they don’t get to see their family all the time," said Wise.

'Joy For All' companion pets allow socially isolated older adults to receive similar gratification and comfort from live pets by calming anxiety and decreasing loneliness.

If you would like to donate to the “Share the Love” Helen Espinoza Foundation, click here.

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Jacqueline Aguilar

Jacqueline Aguilar was born and raised in Yuma, Arizona. The University of Arizona 2021 graduate started working her first professional newsroom job at KYMA in January 2022.
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