Therapy Dogs In Nursing Homes
Therapy dogs in nursing homes can bring uplifting energy and help make a positive impact on the residents, the staff, and families.
Therapy Dogs Can Provide Comfort
A therapy dog’s calm companionship facilitates a connection that has an effect on residents’ well-being such as reducing intense emotions like aggression and distress.
They provide comfort to residents who are lonely and isolated. When petting a therapy dog or having a therapy dog sniff their fingers, these gestures can reduce feelings of depression and anxiety. Some residents may have been former dog owners or are avid animal lovers and may ask questions about the dog’s breed and personality, which show signs of mental stimulation and an emotional connection is made.
The Physical Benefits Of Therapy Dogs
Not only do therapy dogs offer mental benefits but they can help with physical health by reducing blood pressure and increasing endorphins that assist in feeling better and reducing pain. Our canine friends can also help decrease stress, which can affect the body in negative ways and potentially lead to serious health conditions.
Though it is important to remember that each nursing home resident has different capabilities such as mobility, cognitive functioning, and awareness of their surroundings. This means that some residents are not able to interact as closely with our therapy dogs as others and that’s okay! Even the presence of our ATD dogs in a room can improve moods and put a smile on their face.
The Impact of Therapy Dogs On Caregivers and Families
Our therapy dog teams also lend a helping paw to nursing home staff. They do this by helping to ease communication between elderly individuals and their caregivers by acting as a conversation ice-breaker and boosting both their mood levels. Families of residents in nursing homes also appreciate the support to make their loved one’s day a bit better.
Therapy Dogs In a Nursing Home Near You
Are you a resident’s family member or a nursing home employee interested in having therapy dogs visit a nursing home near you? Or are you wanting to learn more about our therapy dog work? Contact our ATD office for more information. We’d be happy to be part of a pawstive partnership!