Buffy the goat, Spuds the calf bring back fond memories for Alzheimer’s support facility


In Kansas, there is a livestock operation that doubles as a care facility for individuals diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and dementia.

During February’s winter storm, a baby calf was brought inside to keep warm. His name is Spuds. The residents of Lighthouse Memory Support, many of whom are retired farmers and ranchers, made sure that Spuds had loving hands to come into, away from the freezing weather.

“One farmer loved him, petting and loving on Spuds... they loved the interaction. It brought up conversations, memories of growing up on the farm, emotions-- lots of wonderful things,” Lighthouse’s Mandy Becker stated, according to AgDaily.

Also, Spuds is not the only furry friend running around. There is also one goat named Buffy and one named Frankie-- there are many more goats.

Mandy saw a need that was not being met. A memory support center for rural communities. This is why Lighthouse has livestock on the grounds. The animals and the feel of a farm help with the cognitive capabilities of the residents, as well as providing a familiar space-- a sense of home.

Becker goes on to say, “It’s home, it’s work, it’s purpose. When they smell the manure, it’s a familiar smell, just like when they are getting eggs out of the coop, it’s familiar to them. All of these life skills don’t go away with dementia. It’s instinct, and it’s automatic.”


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Story via AgDaily