Over the past few years patients and workers at elder care facilities are not the only ones who live there. Dogs, cats, and birds have taken up residence in the hallways and rooms. Sound strange? Not so much. As it turns out, the animals have been invited.
Pet-therapy programs are a recent advancement in nursing homes across the nation. Animals need to be around people and, as it turns out, patients respond well to the animals. Experts have found that nursing home facilities that allow pets keep their patients happier and more productive. The animals help the elder residents throughout their day and some even cuddle with them at night. The animals still help the workers even though there is sometimes additional work to do with cleaning and the occasional outburst. Happier patients seem to be easier to care for than those who do not have the extra attention the pets offer.
Nursing home administration have found an additional benefit to allowing pets to be a part of the facility. Pre-requisites to work at such a location require the staff to be compassionate to the animals. This compassion follows through with the patients and that makes the entire system work better.
There may even be a physical effect to having the animals around the elderly. Endorphins, which are chemicals released in the brain when a patient finds happiness from being around pets can help to stop pain, lower blood pressure and reduce the effects of depression and stress. These patients that may have had pets all through their lives but had to give them up when they went into a nursing home, can be comforted with these new friends who wander freely through the facility and rooms.
When looking for a retirement home for an elderly loved one, consider a facility that allows animals. The joy these furry friends bring is worth the happiness through these autumn days.