When a loved one is experiencing the unfortunate effects of impaired memory, it can be difficult for you and your family to witness. There are many treatments to help keep a senior person’s mind and body as active as possible. Pet therapy has gained popularity in recent years, and for good reason. Here is a look at what pet therapy can do for an assisted living resident.
- Physical Benefits
Interacting with an animal can have positive effects on a senior’s physical state. Whether the resident is walking, brushing, or simply petting a therapy dog, the activity can lower blood pressure and provide gentle exercise for arthritic fingers. Having an animal near can encourage residents to become more active because the desire to interact with the pet is so strong.
- Mental Benefits
Even if a resident is unable to have a pet or take a visiting animal for a walk, the basic interaction with a therapy pet can stimulate his mental faculties. A person may be reminded of pets he had in the past, which is a valuable exercise for memory care residents. The pet provides the resident with something to notice and pay attention to that may be a break from his usual routine. Additionally, interacting with the animal’s handler provides beneficial human contact.
- Emotional Benefits
The presence of a therapy pet can have significant emotional benefits for all kinds of seniors. Animals can provide seniors with a sense of companionship, which is especially important if they have lost a spouse or if their families do not live close by. Many seniors form bonds with therapy pets, and look forward to the animal’s visits. They take comfort in the animal’s presence and may find that they feel less lonely after a therapy pet’s visit.
At Governor’s Glen, we understand the importance of quality care for your senior family member. We offer a supportive community and different levels of care depending on the resident’s needs. If you’re looking for an assisted living community in the Atlanta area, call us at (678) 954-2372 or visit our website to learn more.