For many seniors struggling with Alzheimer’s disease or another memory issue, the presence of a pet can be enormously helpful – far more than just the comfort and emotional support they provide, in fact. There are several other specific health and memory benefits that may be possible for seniors with pets.
At Legacy House in Avondale, these are programs we can help incorporate into our assisted living facility. Here are some basics on how pets can help with memory care.
Pet therapy has become a big part of many senior living facilities, hospices and even hospitals. Spending time with animals has been proven to lower anxiety, decrease pacing and limit confusion among those who deal with Alzheimer’s disease. For those who deal with sundowner’s syndrome, experts say pet therapy might be one of the very best ways to manage this condition.
In many cases, pets are able to communicate with those suffering from memory conditions in nonverbal ways. A person stroking a dog or cat can often experience a calming effect through this action. Forming a relationship with a pet can help replace some of the connection that’s lost among those who lose their verbal skills as part of their condition.
Bird aviaries are growing in popularity in memory care programs. People with Alzheimer’s and dementia can often be captivated by birds and the peacefulness they can attain while watching them. This calming effect can lead to a reduction in anxiety and restlessness.
Another area that can be highly beneficial for seniors with Alzheimer’s is water animals. Fish, particularly those in brightly-colored aquariums that easily catch the eye, can help keep the attention of those suffering form memory loss. This can help with relaxation and anxiety, among other areas.
To learn more about pet therapy within memory care, or for information on any of our other assisted living programs, speak to the caregivers at Legacy House today.