Animal Assisted Therapy for Elderly with Dementia

The benefits of having a four-legged friend can be invaluable, especially for seniors suffering from dementia. That’s why Spring Hills offers pet-friendly assisted living as part of our holistic approach to senior care. The emotional well-being of our clients is as important as their physical health. For dementia patients, it can be even more vital. That’s why we are proud of our PAW (“Pets Are Welcome”) program.

Discover the Benefits of Pet Therapy in Dementia

Spring Hill caregivers have seen how interaction with pets benefits seniors time and time again, by:

  • Pet Therapy for SeniorsLowering blood pressure, triglyceride count, and pulse rate. Animals provide excellent stress relief and comfort.
  • Relieving depression and anxiety. Pets have an infectious happiness and can provide a sense of purpose.
  • Promoting socialization. Pets want play partners and crave physical affection, and often bring people together, as well.
  • Preventing loneliness and feelings of isolation. Pets draw people in and encourage interaction.
  • Encourage more activity. Whether it’s playing fetch or even stroking a pet’s fur, seniors can improve their dexterity and mobility with the help of their animal friends.
  • Inspiring them to take better care of themselves. When you know someone is waiting for you, always happy to see you,  you want to be there for them by taking care of yourself.

Because pets offer unconditional love and affection, they are excellent for:

  • Easing grief, especially after a loss.
  • Promoting a sense of security. Pets can be very protective and are always watching out for you.
  • Being loyal confidantes. Pets listen without judging, and never give away secrets!

For dementia patients who feel out of touch with the world around them or have difficulties expressing themselves, interaction with a friendly animal can be particularly uplifting and therapeutic. Pets can provide priceless assistance in terms of:

  • Sensory stimulationHearing a cat purr or a dog pant, touching fur and petting the animal – maybe even accepting kisses, and seeing a loving face – these all engage the senses and can connect the dementia patient with their surroundings.
  • Triggering memories. Memory can be so important for a sense of identity. Many times, interacting with a pet can bring back memories of a family pet, or of being with family members at a dog park.
  • Decreased aggression when interacting with a pet. Because pets are so loving and amiable, many dementia patients who have had a negative attitude or behavioral changes will noticeably calm down when interacting with them.

Enjoy Pet-Friendly Assisted Living at Spring Hills

Whether they are animal lovers or need ways to come out of their shells, seniors, especially those of our memory care programs, get so much out of the animal assisted therapy we offer at Spring Hills – and the pets themselves love bringing joy and comfort into our residents’ lives.

Contact us to find out more about the PAW Program and how it can help your loved one.