Nursing Home Insurance: The Benefits of Therapy Dog Visits

Nursing Home Insurance: The Benefits of Therapy Dog VisitsNursing Home Insurance: The Benefits of Therapy Dog Visits

In a previous post, we discussed the benefits of pet ownership for the elderly. Studies have found that dogs provoke a relaxation response, along with other health benefits, among older pet owners.

Of course, most nursing homes don’t allow residents to own dogs for liability purposes as well as practicality reasons. This is where therapy dog visits come in. Therapy dogs provide affection as well as social motivation for the elderly, along with these benefits:

Lowered blood pressure. High blood pressure is often associated with rapid heart rate, anxiety, or stress. Simply petting a dog can create a positive feeling of affection that reduces anxiety, thus lowering blood pressure.

Lowered levels of Epinephrine and Norepinphrine. These are both neurotransmitters that are highly essential hormones in the brain that affect heart rate, blood pressure, glucose level, and other important bodily functions. Petting a dog can help relax the mind which will eventually promote healthier conditions.

Reduced anxiety before procedures. Many medical facilities are greatly helped by therapy animals in reducing patient’s anxieties before certain health exams, such as MRI scanning.

Increased level of endorphin. Endorphin is a neurotransmitter in the brain that gives you the feeling of happiness. Petting a therapy dog brings this out, and promotes a better immune response while reducing the bad effects of stress.

Many nursing home residents once had pets, and you may be surprised by how many of your residents will respond positively to therapy dog visits. Check the AKC website for your local therapy dog program.

At DigniCARE, we’re poised to help your senior living facility meet the challenges of a changing environment where the goal is to elevate the quality of life for residents. Our services encompass innovative solutions for assisted living facilitiesindependent living facilitiesnursing homes, and Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRC). To learn more call (855) 883-6306.

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