Assisted Living Dog Therapy

For years, scientist has been studying and learning what the health benefits are when humans interact with pets.

There is a lot of research out there that shows the benefit of having a pet like a dog.  In as little time as 15 minutes, interacting and petting a dog can do wonders for the human body.  Such things as lowering cortisol (the fight or flight hormone) and increasing serotonin (the feel-good hormone) can be attributed to petting a dog.  And as a result of those changes, stress levels, blood pressure, and heart rate drop.  Scientist has also shown that over the long term, cholesterol levels and depression levels can normalize.  So it is not hard to see the benefit of introducing dogs into a long term care situation for the elderly.

Here is something else to consider when it comes to dogs living in places such as Assisted Living facilities.  Just the simple act of caring for a dog can be therapeutic.  When you walk a dog you are exercising.  Even the simple petting and grooming of a dog is good exercise.  And then caring for a dog, such as maintaining good health and feeding, helps keep a person engaged in life.

Over the past several years we’ve seen an increase in dogs living in nursing homes.

The attitude of allowing dogs to live in long term care facilities has changed over the past decade.  Once Administrators see how beneficial a dog can be to preserving the quality of life in a Resident, they have been more accepting of dogs.  One of the biggest research benefits they have seen is the reduction of ‘Sundowners Syndrome’.  A syndrome where a person with a form of dementia becomes more agitated in the later evening.  Dogs have shown to reduce those episodes.

We are hoping that this trend continues in facilities across the nation.  If you are looking for a long term care facility.  Consider choosing one that allows dogs to live along the side of the Residents.

Attribution:Source: http://www.sdhumane.org/


Author: Bo Connlley

I've been very fortunate to have been raised with dogs and love and care for dogs, even to this day. That's why I love to share funny and inspirational stories about 'Man's Best Friend'.

1 thought on “Assisted Living Dog Therapy

  1. I use to work at an Assisted Living facility in Washington State. We had a cute dog that lived at the facility. One of the staff members was responsible for the care and keep of the dog, but the residents would keep him busy all day long. It was one of the best things that place could have done for it’s residents.

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