This is a guest post from our marketing manager, Debbie Kimmick who spreads joy around to the senior community when she brings Honey along. Debbie has seen first hand how a senior’s day is brightened when they meet Honey, her certified therapy dog.
The Benefits of Therapy Dogs with the Elderly
Our Therapy Dog Honey
For centuries, people have keep dogs for protection, comfort as pets and working dogs. During the “Stone Age”, dogs were trained to track and hunt food. Man eventually realized that dogs could be bred and trained to do various tasks such as guarding, sport, tracking, hauling goods, and chasing away rodents.
Large breed dogs are also used for rescuing individuals and security; dogs have even replaced horses for hauling carts when they could not be found.
A “Service Dog” or “Working Dog” is a dog specifically trained to help people with disabilities that range from visual, hearing, mental illness, seizures, diabetes, and more. These dogs are specially trained to do a specific job for their human companion. They are typically found through service dog organizations.
Most people recognize them as the larger breeds. However, small breeds are also trained for a specific need depending on their temperament. During the 1950’s dogs were keep as pets and often kept outdoors. The primary function was to guard, walking, or as a child’s companion. In the 1980’s, the roll of the dog changed to be more of a companion and provide emotional support to their human counterpart.
There is a health benefit from just being in contact with dogs. In the 18th century, dogs were introduced in
Honey visits with a client.
mental facilities to socialize patients with mental issues. Therapy dogs can help lower blood pressure, ease anxiety attacks, and provide social support. Therapy dogs can spark a positive social interaction between their companion and a stranger. They can promote social behaviors in the elderly who have been diagnosed with Alzheimer and Dementia.
Visiting Angels has a Therapy Dog on staff to visit with our clients. We provide affordable in home care for seniors in most of the west valley including Peoria, Glendale, Surprise, Litchfield Park and all the surrounding areas.
If you would like to have this little Honey visit, please call our office at (623) 266-9304 and Honey and her handler will be happy to set up time for you. There is no additional cost to you, this visit is included if you are a current client with us. If you are not a current client please talk to one of our care managers and set an appointment for a free in home evaluation and needs assessment.