THE DONATION of a weighted toy cat has been well received in a dementia ward in Southampton.

Dementia-friendly ward G7, within the medicine for older people department at University Hospital Southampton, welcomed a new addition, which provides therapy for patients aged over 80.

Through Southampton Hospitals Charity, the ward purchased a weighted toy cat that helps to reassure patients when they are confused and need comforting.

Ward manager, Dave Brett said: "Growing up with pets can be a big part of someone’s life, and when the therapy dogs visit our wards they always manage to make our patients smile.

"On one occasion, a patient came onto our ward with a weighted toy cat, and we quickly saw the calming effect it had on her.

"We had one patient who really took to this cat and felt that it was hers to protect and care for. It was lovely for her to have something to focus on whilst in hospital and to remind her of her old pets.

"What is clear to us on the ward is that it adds comfort and fun to our patient’s lives. It is a great addition, and we are very grateful for the support from the charity."