Premier Care Homes Salem Oregon

Animals and Seniors

July 08, 2014

Here at Premier Care Homes, the owners frequently visit the homes and bring their dogs with them to visit with the residents. We understand that some people have mixed reviews on animals. We like to think that most people enjoy the company of a furry friend. We think that a person’s exposure (positive and negative) to animals is what weighs so heavily into their own idea of love or dislike towards pets.
We always keep in mind the fact that certain people just may not have an affinity for animals, but we do like to help create good memories and provide motivation with our furry friends. We have no intention of pushing any pets on the residents, instead we like to wash away any ill-conceived notion that a poorly behaved animal may have brought on for them.
We believe that animals can be used positively to uplift people, and specifically speaking, residents of our homes. I like to take my large old rescue dog, Red, along for car rides and tours of the home, to lay with and play with anyone who will give him some attention. Many, if not all, of the residents Red has come in contact with respond well, and are tickled when he sits on their feet. Red has been taken on walks by residents and loves to be groomed. Grooming does happen outside as he sheds like crazy! Red will play fetch and we allow the ball to be thrown in the house during rainy/cold weather. I am not sure who is happier about that, the residents or Red!! My business partner brings her small dog Lucy who loves to sit in laps. She should be bald after all the ‘petting’ she gets!! Lucy also plays fetch. Both dogs are well behaved.
If you are trying to decide whether we at Premier Care Homes are right for you, know that we can provide your loved one some extra company. Know also that we respect everyone’s privacy, and if they’d rather not interact, with the dogs we will respect that.
I’d like to share some of the benefits that I’ve seen first hand over the years, both as a Physical Therapist and as an owner of Premier Care Homes, of animals interacting with people:
1) Animals can improve a person’s social and emotional wellbeing. Animals provide many people, elderly especially, the opportunity to love and cuddle without care or judgment. Animals can give residents easy, light topics of conversation, encouraging them to engage, as well as help them reminisce about a favorite or least favorite pet/animal experience.
2) Animals can help improve cognitive function.
3) Animals can help to be a motivating factor, especially physically. Animals, and especially our dogs Red and Lucy love to be pet, groomed, taken for walks, fed treats, and played with. If Red or Lucy can’t get someone to throw their ball with those big (they call them puppy dog eyes for a reason) eyes, I’m not sure who or what will!
Our personal experiences aside, here’s an article from Ed Kane, PhD who also strongly believes in having pets around with seniors.  (copy and paste into your browser)

“A pet is a medication without side effects that has so many benefits. I can’t always explain it myself, but for years now I’ve seen how instances of having a pet is like an effective drug. It really does help people.”
Dr. Edward Creagan
Oncologist at Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN
Louis and Dog

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