Navigation Links
Pet Doors Opening at Assisted Living Centers
Date:7/24/2008

The health benefits of an animal's companionship can be significant, experts say

THURSDAY, July 24 (HealthDay News) -- When the elderly woman first arrived at Brooke Grove Retirement Village in Sandy Spring, Md., some of the staffers were skeptical when they saw she had brought her cat along.

The woman, in the early stages of dementia, "floated in and out," according to Jackie Carson, the assisted living administrator at Brooke Grove, a center specializing in Alzheimer's care.

Staffers had to help the woman remember to feed the cat, and some were initially resentful, saying their job was to care for people, not animals, she added.

But slowly, the staff came around, when they saw all the benefits that the cat conferred on the residents, Carson, a registered nurse, said.

"The cat grounded her," she explained.

Brooke Grove is now among a growing number of assisted-living facilities that are actively encouraging seniors to bring along their well-behaved pets -- or inviting them to "adopt" resident pets.

The practise of encouraging seniors in such facilities to interact with pets has many benefits.

Just ask Loren Shook, CEO of Silverado Senior Living, the San Juan Capistrano, Calif.-based company that operates 17 assisted-living facilities in four states for residents with dementia.

"Pets are useful in reducing depression, anxiety and re-engaging people in life," Shook said. "We are committed to making it work."

Often, when a resident has seen many friends pass away, he or she considers their dog or cat a good friend and part of the family. "It is so important for a person's general happiness in life not to have to give up on one of their last friends," he said.

Pets offer proven health benefits. They can help lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels, reduce feelings of loneliness, and increase opportunities for socializing, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

About 10 percent of Silverado's 1,030 residents arrive with their pets in tow, Shook estimated. Staff members -- Shook included -- often bring their dogs to work, and the facilities also have pets-in-residence.

Shook recalls one dog, a black lab named Asher, who lived at the Newport Mesa community in Costa Mesa, Calif. One resident there wasn't eating or communicating and was losing weight.

"Asher sees this guy walking around with his hands hanging down," Shook said. "He goes over and puts his head under his hand. In 15 minutes' time, that man is down on one knee, petting Asher and talking to him."

"The staff jumped in and redirected the man from the dog to them," Shook said, adding that the man was soon eating regularly, talking and engaging with other residents.

Another woman with dementia had stopped communicating. So staffers put a cat in her lap. "She began talking to the cat in about a week," Shook said. Not long afterward, she was accompanying her daughter to the race track, cheering on her favorite horse.

Dennis Hunter, vice president of Brook Grove Retirement Village, said it's important to keep the environment in a retirement community as normal as possible. "For most people that includes pets," he said.

And when a resident passes away? "We make sure the pet is taken care of," Shook explained. If family members can't take the pet, a staff member may adopt it, or the pet may become a "pet in residence." Or, the facility will find a good home elsewhere, he said.

More information

To learn more about the benefits of pets, visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.



SOURCES: Loren Shook, president and CEO, Silverado Senior Living, San Juan Capistrano, Calif.; Jackie Carson, R.N., administrator, assisted living, Brooke Grove Retirement Village, Sandy Spring, Md.; Dennis Hunter, vice president, Brooke Grove Retirement Village, Sandy Spring, Md.


'/>"/>
Copyright©2008 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. New AnyTrack GPS Devices Track Assets Indoors, Outdoors or Hidden
2. oh2 Medical Spa and Vein Removal Center Set to Open Doors in December
3. DeviceSpace Career Fair Opens Doors for Hundreds of Medical Device and Diagnostics Career Candidates
4. NBA Legend Dikembe Mutombo Joins Opportunity International Board of Advisors; Opens Doors in Democratic Republic of Congo
5. OhioHealth Opens Doors to Next Generation Hospital
6. Health Clubs Open Doors Free for 5th Annual Get Active America! Month and Become Gateway to Healthy Living
7. American Cancer Society to Open Doors to Its New Free Lodging and Support Center in NYC for Cancer Patients and Caregivers
8. Sleep Medicine Associates Opens New Doors at Swedish - Cherry Hill Campus
9. Teenage girls arent the only ones who tan indoors -- older adults do so as well
10. Siemens New Clinical Education Training Facility Opens Doors and Expands Offerings for Imaging Professionals
11. Health Clubs Open Doors Free for 5th Annual Get Active America! Campaign, Taking a Stand on Prevention and Becoming Gateway to Healthy Living
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Pet Doors Opening at Assisted Living Centers 
(Date:6/27/2016)... NY (PRWEB) , ... June 27, 2016 , ... ... using cutting edge technology to revolutionize the emergency ambulance transport experience for the ... are aware of how Uber has disrupted the taxi industry through the use ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... ... June 26, 2016 , ... On June 10-11, 2016, A Forever ... Cereal Festival and World’s Longest Breakfast Table in Battle Creek, MI, where the rehabilitation ... as home to some of the world’s leading providers of cereal and other breakfast ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... ... ... blind and certified personal trainer is helping to develop a weight loss fitness plan that ... the two major problems leading the fitness industry today:, , All ... They don’t eliminate all the reasons people quit their exercise program , ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... 25, 2016 , ... Austin residents seeking Mohs surgery services, can now turn ... to Dr. Russell Peckham for medical and surgical dermatology. , Dr. Dorsey brings specialization ... selective fellowship in Mohs Micrographic Surgery completed by Dr. Dorsey was under the direction ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... , ... First Choice Emergency Room , the largest network of independent ... Director of its new Mesquite-Samuell Farm facility. , “We are pleased to announce ... Dr. James M. Muzzarelli, Executive Medical Director of First Choice Emergency Room. , ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... HILLS, Calif. , June 23, 2016 Any ... the many challenges of the current process. Many of them ... because of the technical difficulties and high laboratory costs involved. ... have to offer it at such a high cost that ... afford it. Dr. Parsa Zadeh , founder ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 Roche (SIX: ... 510(k) clearance for its Elecsys BRAHMS PCT (procalcitonin) assay ... sepsis or septic shock. With this clearance, Roche is ... a fully integrated solution for sepsis risk assessment and ... with bacterial infection and PCT levels in blood can ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... Research and Markets has announced the addition of ... their offering. The current ... environment for MedImmune to enter. The US ageing population creates ... drive considerable growth for effective anti-influenza medications. The introduction of ... but development is still in its infancy. ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: