When Oscar was only a kitten, he became lost and ended up in The Steere House, a Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Rhode Island. When the employees at the center saw him, they decided to take him in.
With the staff’s approval, Oscar found a new home and a new family. But it turned out to be a win-win situation because with Oscar’s presence, the center found its newest caretaker.
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The cat does not only roam around to ask for food, he has his own duty to fulfill too. In a way, Oscar has become the nurse of the patients in The Steere House. In an article written by Dr. David Sosa for the New England Journal of Medicine, the doctor said that Oscar has the ability to sense if a patient is in a health crisis, even impending death. Once he sees that the patient is having a hard time, he stays with him to provide comfort.
Oscar’s actions serve as notifications for the nurses that something is wrong. They are then able to notify the patient’s family to prepare for the worst.
Every day, Oscar goes in and out of rooms to check on the seniors suffering from Alzheimer’s and other types of end-stage dementia. He usually does this very quickly, but when he knows a patient is dying, he stays for a relatively long time. When the nurses notice it, they know what’s bound to happen.
Oscar will then sit beside or curl up in bed with the patient for a long period, even until the patient draws his last breath.
Taking care of a dying patient and giving them the least bit of comfort is something only those with strong heart can endure. It’s that job where you see people slowly fade away. Oftentimes, caregivers tend to emotionally break down with the patient and their family. Now Oscar is playing that part. With what he does, he’s able to help those caregivers, the center’s staff, and the patients.