At PeachTree Place Assisted Living Community in Ogden, UT, we recognize that pet ownership is incredibly important for many people—especially those with dementia. Whether your loved one has a dog, cat, rabbit, bird, or even a tank of fish, raising a pet can positively impact his or her mental and physical health.
How Pets Can Help Dementia
- Reduce Distressing Emotions
- Encourage Physical Activity
- Facilitate Social Bonding
- Improve Overall Physical Health
- Reduce Problematic Behaviors
Animals Can Alleviate Emotional Distress
Furry friends can reduce loneliness, love us unconditionally, and even recognize and respond to our emotions, making them ideal companions for older adults with dementia, Alzheimer’s, and other psychological conditions. Pet ownership can help reduce feelings of stress, isolation, anxiety, irritability, anger, and even depression—all of which are common emotional symptoms of dementia.
More Chances To Remain Physically Active
Pets (especially dogs) can encourage your loved one to get enough exercise. Between frequent walks, occasional games of fetch, and similar activities, pet owners often find it easier and more fun to remain active compared to those without furry companions.
Animals Promote Human Companionship
Many residents at our facility have furry friends. Conversations about pets can provide residents with a great opportunity to bond with their neighbors and develop friendships after the transition to assisted living.
Pets May Improve Overall Physical Health
In addition to providing emotional comfort and promoting physical activity, there is evidence that pets may benefit senior health in seemingly unexpected ways. A 2002 study conducted by Purdue University showed that interacting with fish aquariums even improved nutritional intake in Alzheimer’s patients.
Spending time with a beloved animal releases oxytocin and reduces cortisol levels, which can help reduce blood pressure and boost cardiovascular health. Altogether, the emotional and physical health benefits of pet ownership may even increase longevity in seniors.
Pets Help Dementia & Alzheimer’s Symptoms
Some people with dementia may act out in problematic or destructive ways, leading their loved ones to avoid or even fear being around them. It’s important to recognize that these behaviors are not your loved one’s fault because they are due to unmet physical or emotional needs that your loved one is unable to express, such as feeling tired, cold, hungry, scared, or in pain.
If these symptoms make it challenging or unsafe for your loved one to live alone or with family members, then it may be time to consider moving to senior apartments.
According to an NIH study, resident dogs can significantly reduce problematic behaviors in Alzheimer’s patients during the daytime. The familiarity, reassurance, emotional support, and unconditional love that a treasured pet provides can help make your loved one feel better and less likely to act out, especially during the transition to senior living.
Pet-Friendly Assisted Living Near Me
At PeachTree Place Assisted Living Community near Ogden, Utah, we want to help your loved one feel safe, comfortable, and well-cared for while receiving the right amount of Alzheimer’s and dementia care. We recognize that pets are part of the family and can provide immense emotional support, so we actively encourage residents to bring their furry (or scaly) friends.
Decisions are made on a case-by-case basis to ensure that the pet doesn’t pose a threat to other residents, so we encourage you to call our friendly staff today for more information.