Memory Care Assisted Living

The Benefits of Pet Therapy in Memory Care Assisted Living: Furry Companions for Emotional Support

Research shows that the presence and interaction with animals reduce agitation, feelings of isolation depression, and anxiety in memory care assisted living residents. Having a dog or cat can provide emotional support, comfort, and joy. A furry companion can stimulate the senses while at the same time encouraging communication and socialization, something that residents in memory care need to enhance their quality of life.


Therapeutic Effects of Animal-Assisted Therapy in Memory Care Assisted Living


Dementia is an irreversible and progressive disease that starts with mild memory loss and then leads to loss of the ability to carry a conversation, a vegetative state, and then death. Dementia is one of the leading causes of disability among senior adults worldwide with nearly 10 million new cases every year.

The behavioral, emotional, and psychological changes can be worrisome to both the person suffering from the disease and the family. Due to the challenges of managing the manifestations, families sort the expertise of memory care assisted living facilities.

Memory care facilities utilize trained animals, mostly dogs and cats to address the feelings of loneliness, boredom, and helplessness. The concept of animal therapy is backed up by hundreds of researches.

Multiple studies reveal that the presence of a friendly animal helps improve mood. Based on one study conducted at an adult day care center for adults with dementia, the study shows that allowing older adults with dementia to engage in activities with dogs reduces the feeling of loneliness and anxiety.

Another study observed that pet therapy has a calming effect on memory care assisted living residents. Animal-assisted therapy also is effective in lowering blood pressure levels.

In another study, animal-assisted therapy decreases behavioral problems. Agitation and aggression are common behavioral issues for people with Alzheimer’s, and these signs were significantly reduced for patients exposed to pet therapy. Stroking the soft fur of a pet has a calming effect and reduces anxious behaviors.


Positive Therapeutic Effects of Animal-Assisted Therapy


The presence of a pet also encourages social interaction, motivating memory care patients to communicate through words or touch. This may also trigger positive emotions as they recall beloved pets residents once had.

Pet therapy is a sensory stimulant through the fur’s warmth, softness, and movement.

Animal-assisted therapy also improves physical activity as walking, petting, caring for, and playing with pets allows residents to engage in physical movements.

Moreover, a loyal pet companion reduces the feeling of isolation. Spending time with animals makes residents in memory care assisted living more connected and feel less lonely. Because of a pet’s unconditional love, a special bond is created, responsible for boosting oxytocin levels.

Overall, animal-assisted therapy provides positive and meaningful effects to residents with dementia. It improves mood and has calming effects. Pet therapy is beneficial for sensory stimulation, increased social motivation, increased physical activity, and decreased behavioral problems, all extremely therapeutic for those in memory care facilities.

Even before the creation of memory care assisted living, humans used animals as companions because animals are loyal and can put a smile on our faces.


Looking for excellent senior care in Nebraska? Click here to learn more about Oxbow Living!

Oxbow Living offers Assisted Living & Memory Care out of Nebraska and to the Surrounding Cities: Ashland, South Bend, Greenwood, Murdock, Elmwood, Ithaca, Mead

Assisted Living Ashland

The Emotional Journey of Downsizing for Senior Housing: Tips for Seniors and Their Families

The process of downsizing in preparation for senior housing can be an emotional rollercoaster. Having to sort out what to keep and what to let go through possessions you have accumulated for decades can be quite difficult as most of these are tied to memories.

Although this can be a difficult journey, downsizing is also an opportunity to embrace this new chapter in your life. Downsizing can be a way of letting go of the past and looking forward to a new beginning. With time and careful thought, downsizing can be properly managed.

Transitioning to Senior Housing

Now that you and your loved one have decided which senior housing to go to, it is time to start planning and sorting what to bring, and what can be discarded, donated, or sold to make the moving process much easier.

As moving from one place to another can be overwhelming and stressful, it is important to work with your loved ones. Fortunately, the negative feelings of relocation can be addressed.

First, it is a good idea to have ample time to process everything before packing. Having the extra time will give both parties the much-needed time to take in the changes and look forward to this new chapter that waits ahead in senior housing. Make the most of the time discussing the move, and asking how your loved one feels to have insights on how they’re feeling. Through this, you can provide the emotional support necessary to process their feelings.

Another thing is to set proper expectations. Discuss what to expect before, during, and after the move to put their minds at ease. This is also an opportunity to gather information and answer questions that will help them get excited about the big move.

Tips for Downsizing

Here’s a list of what to prepare when transitioning to senior housing:

Make a list of what needs to be brought to senior housing and what needs to be discarded. Start with the stuff with no emotional value like those stored at the garage.

Visit your senior apartment so you can visualize what items to put in, allowing you to determine which items are not necessary anymore.

Do not dispose of things right away, instead, articulate each item’s purpose. Does it bring joy? If not, you can start giving things away. Contact charities to arrange convenient pick-ups and drop-offs.

Important items that you cannot bring to your new place can still be enjoyed by someone else. Instead of throwing, you might want to consider giving them to friends or loved ones. Or consider hosting a garage sale.

Or if you cannot part with some items, consider renting a storage that is affordable and just nearby.

Involve your family or friends to help identify sentimental items, and assist you in sorting, labeling, organizing, and packing. At the same time, these people will keep the process fun while helping you handle emotions as you go.

Being well-prepared emotionally, mentally, and physically will help families and seniors make this transition as smooth as possible.


Looking for excellent senior living in Nebraska? Click here to learn more about Oxbow Senior Living!

Oxbow Living offers Assisted Living & Memory Care out of Nebraska and to the Surrounding Cities: Ashland, South Bend, Greenwood, Murdock, Elmwood, Ithaca, Mead