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The Healing Power of Pet Therapy

In some cases, moving to an assisted living community means leaving your furry friend behind, but that is not the case at Sagora Senior Living as all of our communities are pet-friendly. Pets are great not only for their owners but the entire senior living community.

If you don’t have a pet and are looking for four-legged companionship, don’t worry! Sagora Senior Living communities have pet therapy visits, so you will still be able to enjoy pet positivity without having to care for a pet yourself.

Ellery Arbor Memory Care has pet therapy visits two to three times a month along with residents who have pets full-time. “I think the best reactions come from those residents who have little mobility, stay in a wheelchair, and don’t speak much,” said Melissa Griffin, Life Style Director at Ellery Arbor.

“We place their hand on top of the dog; it’s amazing to see them start petting. These are residents that barely move without assistance but something about the soft fur of the dog reminds them how to pet, and they get such satisfaction. That soft fur and loving pet kisses stir up memories that we couldn’t otherwise bring about since they are so specific. We have residents suddenly remember their childhood dog or a neighbor’s dog they used to love. Those are the moments we cherish.”

According to The Mayo Clinic, animal-assisted therapy can significantly reduce pain, anxiety, depression and fatigue in people with a range of health problems. As we saw in the Ellery Arbor’s example, pet therapy can even bring back memories from those who have Alzheimer’s and dementia. Not only do dogs offer friendship, but they are an excellent excuse to get in a few extra steps during the day and enjoy the outdoors.

Residents at The Brennity at Fairhope have pet therapy once a month. “I think pet therapy is a necessity because it increases socialization and creates an overwhelming feeling of joy. As soon as a pet walks through the door, you see a resident start to smile. You will often residents recalling stories of when their child was causing mischief and blaming the family pet. So many sounds of laughter come from pet therapy,” Bethany Hammock, Lifestyle Director at The Brennity at Fairhope, said.

We encourage those who are searching for a future senior living community to always look for the pet-friendly logo.

Do you have questions? We have answers.

At Sagora Senior Living our goal is to be accessible to our residents and their families, our future associates, and our customers. To that end, we look forward to hearing from you.
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