Whether you had a good or bad day, you can always count your dog or your cat to greet you with unconditional love that will lift your spirits. For a long time, blind and disabled individuals have been using therapy animals for assistance. Now, they have become more common in treatment for Alzheimer’s and dementia patients.
At Mount Carmel Assisted Living, our Hampton memory care facility offers pet therapy to our patients. The kind of obstacles our Alzheimer’s and dementia patients face on a daily basis include depression, restlessness, irritability, having difficulty participating in social activities, and feeling lonely and isolated. They can lose the motivation to engage in physical activity and often neglect required daily activities, such as eating or taking care of their hygiene.
However, when a therapy-trained pet is with them, they are able to experience more interactive behaviors. They can interact with a pet without having any worries or concerns. For example, dogs have been proven to decrease agitation and increase pleasure, just by their presence alone.
The benefits of pet therapy include the following:
- Pets improve a patient’s mood
- Pets significantly lower a patient’s blood pressure
- Pets improve a patient’s nutrition
- Pets help decrease a patient’s behavioral problems
- Pets improve a patient’s physical activity and mobility
Some may be wondering if the animals can be unpredictable at times, perhaps causing a disruption in the therapy process. Therapy animals are a huge commitment since they require an extensive training process. They must be able to sit, stay, resist any sort of distractions and perform tricks on command. Even though research is ongoing on therapy pets, there is evidence that they have done a great deal of good to many of our patients already.
For more information about our pet therapy, contact our Hampton assisted living center and schedule a tour with us today!