Go4Life Promo

For seniors who need a bit of motivation to get up and moving, how about this: regular exercise will keep you living not only long but also more independently. And if you think that you’re too old to start exercising or don’t know what exercises you can do, there’s a helpful, free resource you can turn to for help.

Go4Life is an evidence-based exercise and physical activity campaign run by the National Institute on Aging at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). It was developed in response to NIH research which found that exercise can promote independence. In collaboration with the White House Conference on Aging they are celebrating Go4Life Month throughout September 2015.

One of the key messages of Go4Life is to increase the awareness that exercise and fitness activity is a small investment that can pay big dividends when it comes to promoting healthy aging. Just a few of the benefits are increased strength, balance and flexibility, and it can even help mitigate the effects of conditions like diabetes, heart disease and osteoporosis.

In recognition that many seniors don’t have an active wellness plan, Go4life offers “practical real-life-tips to add physical activity to their routine.” The first step is to assess a fitness level you’re starting from—this has no relation to age and only sets the baseline for how to integrate exercise into your life. The next step is to “connect the exerciser to concrete goals.” For example one concrete goal could be continuing to drive or playing with a grandchild. Taking small steps is better than jumping in full steam, which can lead to discouragement. You need only “a little piece of time” to get started—even 10 minutes is fine. Consider setting a goal of 30 minutes of exercise per day, which can be easily broken into smaller chunks of time.

Go4Life points to the four different types of exercise needed to foster well-being:

  1. endurance or aerobic based activities, such as walking, jogging or dancing
  2. strength exercises, such as lifting weights or using resistance band which can make it easier to perform everyday tasks like climbing stairs and lifting groceries
  3. balance exercises,  such as standing on one leg or Tai Chi, in order to prevent falls
  4. flexibility exercises, like stretches or yoga, to give freedom of movement for other exercises

Before beginning an exercise program, you are encouraged to consult to your doctor first, especially if you have any new symptoms, notice problems such as joint swelling, dizziness and shortness of breath, or have had any recent surgeries.

While the Go4Life program is tailored for those who are 50 years old and better, there is no upper limit and seniors are never “too old to get engaged with physical activity.” Whether you’re a senior yourself, or you’re part of an organization that works with older adults, there are numerous ways to participate in G4Life Month.

And if you need an extra bit of motivation to keep with a program, ask your friends or book club to join in. You will also find all sorts of helpful tools on the site to help you plan your wellness goals and track your progress. You can even create a free account, receiving tips from your own virtual coach to help keep you motivated. So get out there and start exercising!

Seniors enjoying locally grown produceThere’s a “growing” trend among senior living communities (pun intended): More senior living communities are reaping the benefits of locally grown produce. Some communities opt to source produce directly from outside sources, while others are taking it a step further and growing their own produce on-campus.

Rooftop gardens bring sustainability to urban living

The Chicago Tribune reported of one such community in December 2014. Seniors at Concord Place Retirement & Assisted Living Community in suburban Northlake, Illinois (just west of Chicago) took sustainable living into their own hands by designing and maintaining a rooftop garden, which they named Harvest Rooftop Garden. It’s a hydroponic garden created in collaboration with the community’s production manager, Samantha Lewerenz, and gardening consulting firm, Topiarius. Lewerenz aided in designing and getting the system up and running and also trained residents on proper planting and harvesting techniques, as well as how to increase production.

Not only is the Harvest Rooftop Garden easily accessible to residents, but it allows the community to take another step in its commitment to sustainable living and utilizing locally sourced produce for healthy eating. Concord Place residents, who are strongly supportive of the sustainability movement, can take an active role in their own health while participating in enjoyable activities. Residents and staff grow fruits, vegetables, and even herbs in the Harvest Rooftop Garden—contributing to lower food costs and nurturing a sense of empowerment among residents.

On-site gardens and gardening clubs a growing trend

An article from Atria Senior Living points out that while the agriculture, farming, and gardening trend is getting a lot of media buzz as of late, it’s a practice that Atria Penfield residents have been participating in for years. Atria Penfield residents have had the opportunity to join the community’s gardening club since 2011 and participate in producing vegetables and herbs that the kitchen staff then incorporates into the community’s menu selections. Additionally, Atria Penfield residents can take advantage of their own on-site gardens, including both indoor and outdoor beds.

Atria Senior Living points out the many benefits of growing produce on-campus, including nourishment, mental and physical engagement, cost efficiency, the opportunity for residents to learn new skills or make use of their green thumbs, and, of course, the sense of accomplishment that comes with contributing to a larger sustainability movement among the community.

Farm-to-Table programs gain acceptance at senior living communities

Even senior living communities who don’t grow all or some of their own produce on-campus can still take advantage of the locally grown trends taking the world by storm. Senior Living Residences, a company that operates 12 senior living communities, is also championing the local food movement. “Through some unique food purveyors and some creative local relationships, every Senior Living Residences’ community  can say that a significant portion of their every day menu offerings is coming from local farms and producers, or ‘Farm-to-Table,’” according to an article on the company’s website.

A commitment to serving high-quality, nutritious food led Senior Living Residences to create its Brain Healthy Cooking program, which is based on the Mediterranean diet and relies on ready access to fresh vegetables, fruits, and fish. From this, the company’s commitment to sourcing produce locally was born. Rather than grow and harvest their own through on-campus gardening, however, Senior Living Residences partnered with a local, family-owned company that could provide locally farmed foods in the volume required while also adhering to industry food safety regulations through its relationships with dozens of local farms. In doing so, Senior Living Residences is helping to support local farm sustainability—something every resident can be proud of.

Companies aim to aid senior living communities in implementing on-campus gardening programs

There are now third-party companies who offer programs to help senior living communities initiate their own on-campus efforts. Green City Growers, for example, offers a professional team of farmers who visit the campus weekly or bi-weekly to teach participants the skills and knowledge needed to create and nurture a successful vegetable garden. For senior living communities, the company installs adaptive raised beds that sit three feet off the ground for easier access.

Both on-campus gardening programs and initiatives for communities to source produce locally offer numerous benefits for residents, and the trend toward locally sourced and on-campus grown produce shows no signs of slowing in the near future. Which will be welcome for seniors who don’t want to forgo the joy of gardening or eating fresh produce when moving to a senior living community.

 

 

Welcome Joan’s Journeyers. As I age, simple pleasures have more meaning and are ever so cherished. For example, a few nights ago, my lifelong friend Ellen came to share dinner with me at Holiday Village East (HVE). The decision was last minute.

Ellen’s daughter Deanna and her friends were headed to a free summer concert on the Pier at Santa Monica beach. Ellen and I discussed joining the gals but decided our senior joints preferred chairs to beach blankets. My dining table chairs settled our dinner plans.

Having guests for dinner at HVE involves a phone call with a selection of food choices to the front desk staff. For a nominal $5 fee per person, guests are welcome in the dining room or one’s apartment. Ellen arrived, dinner was delivered, and we enjoyed our effortless meal of a fresh garden salad, spaghetti, meatballs, cauliflower, garlic bread and chocolate ice cream.

We finished dinner and retreated to my balcony where we watched the beautiful sunset turn from sky blue to adobe pink to ink black. When the Pacific Ocean breezes turned chilly, we moved inside and enjoyed watching television together until Deanna arrived to take Ellen home.

Learn more about how Joan is one of the lucky seniors, because she is functioning at Maslow’s Level 5: Self-Actualization in Joan’s Journey, Part 33.

Aging woman in kitchen preparing saladHealthy eating habits are important for everyone, no matter what your age. But for seniors a healthy diet comes with many benefits to their health, overall well-being and longevity. Seniors who eat a well-balanced diet rich with vitamins and minerals are better able to ward off common colds and viruses, prevent chronic disease and have more energy—which can lead to increased physical activity, amplifying the benefits of a healthy diet alone.

Increased mental clarity

In 2013 Today Health & Wellness reported on a study conducted by researchers at the University of L’Aquila in Italy. Researchers evaluated 90 seniors who were experiencing mild cognitive impairment and had them drink a cocoa beverage daily for a period of eight weeks. The beverage contained “either low, medium or high amounts of flavanols, the antioxidants that naturally occur in cocoa.”

The study found that seniors who “consumed drinks with medium and high amounts of flavanols scored higher on tests that required attention and other mental skills compared to the subjects who drank the lowest levels of flavanols.” This, of course, doesn’t mean consuming vast amounts of sweets is a good idea, rather that a square or two of rich, dark chocolate (high in flavanols) should do the trick. Other foods linked to increased mental clarity and improved cognition in various studies include cauliflower, chili peppers, sunflower seeds, sweet potatoes, cantaloupe, rice bran, beet juice, breakfast cereal and yogurt.

Resistance to illness and disease

A diet rich in vitamins and minerals helps to keep seniors’ body systems in check, including contributing to strong immune system functioning. A healthy immune system, in turn, helps seniors to ward off illnesses such as the common cold, influenza, pneumonia and other conditions that can lead to serious health consequences in the elderly.

Preventing chronic disease

In addition to warding off the common cold, flu viruses and seasonal sniffles, a healthy diet can help seniors ward off more serious, chronic health conditions. For instance, consuming a reduced sodium diet can help prevent water retention and high blood pressure, the proper fat intake can help control cholesterol levels. Additional calcium and Vitamin D is helpful for maintaining bone density and avoiding osteoporosis.

Avoid malnutrition and maintain energy levels

The body needs food—and, more importantly, proper nutrition—to maintain energy levels. In some cases, seniors who are feeling lethargic and don’t have the energy to get out and about for some daily exercise may be suffering from malnutrition, which contributes to feeling tired and groggy. It’s a vicious cycle. Getting the right amounts of vitamins and other nutrients in your diet can lead to a dramatic change in your energy levels.

There are many factors that can contribute to decreased nutritional intake, such as a decline in the senses of taste and smell, medication side effects including loss of appetite, dental problems. Even depression or forgetfulness,can lead to a loss of desire to cook or forgetting about regular meal times. If any of these factors are contributing to a decline in your aging loved one’s dietary habits, look into programs such as Meals on Wheels, which deliver nutritious, balanced meals right to seniors’ doorsteps, or talk with your loved one and her doctor about strategies your family can implement to improve her nutritional status.

Your aging loved ones’ health is important to you. Ensuring that your elderly loved ones are eating a well-balanced diet with the proper amounts of vitamins and minerals can help your senior loved one remain happy, active, and healthy for many years to come—and he may be surprised by how much better he feels with a few simple dietary changes.

With family pets being such a central feature in home life, you could assume that senior living communities would embrace a culture of being pet friendly; after all, many communities market themselves as being just like home and what is home without one’s pet. Yet all too often, communities have a no pet policy. At Silverado and Sunrise Senior Living communities, you won’t find a no pet policy; instead both senior living providers specifically include treating pets as family as one of their company’s core values.

“Most people are pleasantly surprised to learn that our communities are pet friendly,” says Maggie Schlagel, regional director of sales for Sunrise Senior Living. ‘We’ve found that allowing pets helps with the transition into a community and residents are so much more relaxed.”

Kathy Greene, vice president of operations for Silverado, says that she knows of families who stalled moving a family member into a community when they learn that pets aren’t welcome. Among the reasons why Silverado communities have house pets is because “life needs spontaneity and what better way to provide spontaneity than pets,” she says.

Both Silverado and Sunrise communities have house pets in addition to residents’ pets. Sunrise communities typically have a dog and cat, though some have birds, and their Staten Island community has a rabbit, Schlagel adds. Silverado communities also feature cats, dogs and birds (on average it is one dog to 10 residents), but there are also guinea pigs. One of the communities they acquired even came with miniature horses—which they kept, much to the delight of residents.

At each Silverado community there is a pet budget and dedicated pet coordinator who helps residents care for the house pets, which Greene says helps give residents a sense of purpose. “All of us human beings need the opportunity to nurture others, and just as residents are being nurtured, residents can nurture in turn,” she explains. At one community, residents made blankets for the local animal shelter and volunteered to train or walk the dogs.

When people outside our community learn that our residents have Alzheimer’s or dementia, they are surprised about the life our residents are still able to live, she adds. “It’s about the moment, not the memory.”

Sunrise residents are also active in supporting the animals in their local community. At one location, the memory care residents bake treats to take to the local animal shelter, and our communities often partner with local rescues and host a pet adoption day on site, Schlagel says. Many of their house pets are adopted from local animal shelters as well.

Not only do community pets boost the residents’ spirits, but they also promote physical health. Both Greene and Schlagel have seen residents resume walking or walking more because the dogs genuinely enjoy taking walks.

Of the house pets that have made a difference in residents’ lives, Greene says the story of Max, a golden retriever, comes readily to mind. He would know when someone is approaching death and would stay with that person until the end, she says. One time, Max remained with the resident, only leaving to go outside and go to the bathroom. The family was so moved that they asked if he could be at the funeral and he lay next to the casket during the service.

At Brighton Gardens of Stamford it was Bear, a Bernese Mountain dog (pictured left), who helped a woman adjust to her new home. The resident connected with Bear before the other residents and the unconditional love he provided just made the transition easier, Schlagel says.

Sunrise doesn’t require a pet fee, and pets are assessed on a case-by-case basis to ensure they will fit in with community pets. For residents with allergies, Schlagel says the team members will keep residents apart from the pets, but this health issue doesn’t often arise. “Most people are thrilled we have the house pet, as it’s an asset to our community,” she explains. Even team members, visiting physicians and family members will bring in their pets.

At Silverado communities, families are also welcome to bring in pets, and there is also an open-door policy when it comes to residents’ pets. We don’t want a dog locked in the room all day, nor do we want the resident to stay in their room, so resident pets are welcome to roam around the community too, Green says. All future pets are assessed to ensure they can be around people and noise, and in many cases, they will become a community pet when the resident passes away. Silverado does have a monthly pet fee which covers food, pet supplies and care when it’s needed.

Of Sunrise’s pet program, Schlagel says it will definitely continue in the future because the company strives to champion the lives of their residents and pets and to create a homelike environment. The same sentiment is held at Silverado, Greene says, because they want to have visitors to be taken aback by the life found at their communities.

Images are courtesy of Silverado and Sunrise Senior Living (photographer Jennifer Prat).

I was sound asleep when a continuous ear-piercing beep from my apartment alarm system woke me. It wouldn’t stop. I rolled over, now wide awake. Thoughts of Is this for real and Is the building on fire raced through my head. I doubted there was a real fire, but if so, what should I do? Why have I never attended a fire drill? Should I stay in my apartment or go into the hall or maybe try to get out of the building? Still lying in my warm bed but becoming more anxious, I wondered if maybe the beeping might be a warning that one of my apartment smoke alarms needed new batteries. That had happened once before. I decided to get up and listen to see if the sound was coming from the other rooms. They were all beeping, so forget the battery theory. I looked out from my sixth-floor apartment window, which faces the back of the property. Everything looked tranquil.

Read more about the unexpected frustration and excitement that this emergency and another caused in Margery’s life in the Last Stop: Part 22.

This post was written by Margery Fridstein, an author and retired psychotherapist who lives in a CCRC outside of Denver, CO. She is chronicling her experience in the monthly series, “The Last Stop With Margery Fridstein.”

 

Our next series of articles discusses the benefits of healthy eating and how seniors can incorporate this into their daily lives. For seniors residing in senior living communities, their chefs increasingly include locally sourced produce into the meals. Elders living on their own can buy produce from local growers at their the farmer’s market. Fortunately, even those on a limited budget can eat healthily and we’ll discuss state and federal programs that are available to aid seniors on an fixed income. In the following post we will focus on the health issues that result when food insecurity threatens healthy eating habits, a reality that is far more prevalent for seniors than many people realize.

Nearly 1 in 12:  that’s the number of seniors in the United States in 2011 who “had limited or uncertain access to enough food to sustain a healthy lifestyle” according to the Spotlight on Senior Health Adverse Health Outcomes of Food Insecure Older Americans report produced by Feeding America and the National Foundation to End Senior Hunger.

This food insecurity translates into tangible effects that affect a senior’s quality of life and health. Of the nutrients that are found in our diets, iron and protein are especially important for seniors. Yet seniors experiencing food insecurity consume 14 and 12 percent less of these nutrients than food secure seniors. They also consume fewer calories.

Consuming fewer calories and nutrients results in irreversible health issues. “Food insecurity was found to be negatively associated with nine diseases and other negative health conditions,” according to the report. Though heart attacks are an expected health risk as seniors age, food insecure seniors are more than 50 percent more likely to report a heart attack than their peers with access to food. Remaining independent also proves challenging, as they are 22 percent more likely to experience limitations with activities of daily living. Food insecure seniors are also 60 percent more likely to be depressed.

Even though all ages experience food insecurity, for seniors the health implications are much more significant. The study found that even food insecure seniors with higher incomes still experienced health issues, as a result  ”it is clear that food insecurity affects health and well-being independent of income levels,” the report concludes.

Earlier this year, we had a clearer picture of the number of seniors experiencing food insecurity through the release of The State of Senior Hunger in America 2013:  Annual Report. Using the 2013 data collected from the Current Population Survey, researchers estimate that 15.5 percent (9.6 million) seniors experienced food insecurity, an increase of 300,000 more than 2012. Seniors between the ages of 60-64 reported the highest percentage (18.62) compared to 12.54 percent of seniors 80+. Women were more likely to experience food insecurities than men, and employed seniors experience the threat of senior hunger at a lower percentage than seniors who are unemployed or disabled.

The distribution of food insecure seniors differs from state to state. Minnesota has the lowest estimate of threat of senior hunger at 8.30 compared to Arkansas which reported 26.10. Unfortunately with the estimates showing that the threat of senior hunger only increasing, the authors warn that the United States will be face additional public health challenges, especially because of the health issues that result from food insecurity.

 

** Images taken from Spotlight on Senior Health:  Adverse Health Outcomes of Food Insecure Older Americans and The State of Senior Hunger in America 2013:  Annual Report.

 

 

Welcome Joan’s Journeyers. Once upon a time, not very long ago, an elderly man and an elderly woman moved into to my senior living community, Holiday Villa East (HVE) in Santa Monica. Arthur and Gretchen, as I have named them, moved to HVE on the same week. They both had lost spouses and were in declining mental and physical health. Our protagonists quickly settled into life at HVE and all was well—or was it?

I have a tale to tell, a true tale told recently to me by Sam Rosenberg, executive director of HVE. The moral of Rosenberg’s story, which I agree with, is key to understanding the complex components to successful senior living when close to family.

Gretchen, 85, had a daughter Gloria, who was her closest relative and Rosenberg’s family contact. Arthur, also 85, had a son James. Likewise, James was his Dad’s family contact. Initially, both adult children routinely visited their parents.

As time went by, Gretchen and Arthur’s health diminished. On days when James visited, Arthur was foulmouthed, even downright nasty to his son. This behavior is a well-known symptom of some forms of dementia. Despite the outbursts, James faithfully visited his dad, each time arriving with personal items, favorite foods and small surprises. One afternoon while James visited, Arthur’s behavior was particularly offensive. An aide called Rosenberg to Arthur’s unit.

Rosenberg recalls asking James why he continued to visit his dad when his father was consistently rude and disrespectful. James answered simply, “Because he’s my Dad!” Arthur lived a long and comfortable life in harmony with his surroundings and son.

Gretchen’s story isn’t so pleasant. As time passed, Gretchen refused to dress stylishly, fix her hair or wear makeup. Her behavior was symptoms of her worsening physical and mental conditions. Gloria, on the other hand, arrived for visits bedecked for a red carpet event. Dismayed by her mother’s behavior, Gloria insisted that Gretchen improve her appearance. When the pleading and insistence, and then criticism failed to change her mother’s behavior, Gloria visited Rosenberg’s office. “This is my last visit,” she declared. Taken aback, Rosenberg asked why. Gloria answered simply, “Because she’s not my Mother anymore.”

Gloria said funds for her mother’s rent, personal care and physical needs would be sent monthly, but family would no longer visit. Rosenberg recalls sadly that Gretchen, a sweet and gentle woman whose face lit up when her family visited, never again saw her daughter, grandchildren or great grandchildren. The sparkle left Gretchen’s eyes and she died alone.

Joan’s Journeyers, why am I sharing Rosenberg’s tale?

In last month’s, Joan’s Journey post, Rosenberg and I referred to motivational psychologist Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs theory. The theory proposes five variable levels: 1) basic life needs of air, food, drink, shelter, warmth, sex, and sleep; 2) security, order, law, limits, and stability; 3) family, affection, relationships, work and groups; 4) achievement, status, responsibility, and reputation; and 5) personal growth and fulfillment. Lower level needs must be met before fulfilling needs at a higher level.

In the upcoming Joan’s Journey, I will explore Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs as it relates to the tale of Arthur, Gretchen and other seniors. In addition, I will consider the pros and cons of seniors moving to a senior living community close to their children. Until the next Joan’s Journey, enjoy the trip day by day.

Joan London is a freelance medical and social service writer who specializes in topics on aging. London moved from Maryland to California to enjoy life in a senior living community and enhance her quality of life by living closer to her children and grandchildren.

You can research the price of a new car, a college and a house to help you narrow down your choices before taking a drive or a tour. Yet if you search most senior living providers’ websites for the community’s monthly cost, you will be hard-pressed to find a dollar amount. If there is a mention of costs, it generally references what is included in the monthly fee, such as rent and services, but does not give the full amount you will be writing a check for each month. Instead they encourage you to call and take a tour to answer your questions.

Online directories which serve as a one-stop-resource to search for senior living communities may include the starting cost of a community on its profile page. However, you cannot easily compare the pricing of nearby communities without clicking back and forth between profiles. Some sites even lock this pricing behind a form that you must complete to view the pricing.

At SeniorHomes.com, we don’t think either experience allows you to easily search for senior living options, whether for yourself or for your aging parents and relatives.

That’s why we recently updated our City pages for Independent Living, Assisted Living and Memory Care to include the median costs of senior living communities within that city and the surrounding area. This way you can search one place for the cost information and narrow down your search for the communities within your price range.

To the right is an example of the Independent Living options in Atlanta. You can sort the list either by Community or Starting Price by clicking on the arrows. We also include the nearby communities to provide you with more options to consider. To learn more about any community, click its name to be taken to its profile page.

If you experience sticker shock when you see the monthly price, keep in mind the number of amenities and services included:  rent, utilities (generally excludes telephone and cable), dining services, laundry services, housekeeping and transportation. For memory care communities, personal care services may also be included in the monthly price or may be extra.

We obtain this cost data directly from the senior living communities and update the information as new pricing is received. Please be aware that this cost data is for informational purposes only and your actual senior living costs, upon joining a community, may vary for a variety of reasons not limited to availability and your personal situation. Should you need further help narrowing down your search, consider chatting with one of our Family Advisors who will be able to give you a better sense of the costs you can expect.

 

Recently we talked about the benefits of pets for the elderly and the benefits of service dogs for seniors who have a disability, such as vision or hearing impairment. As more senior living communities are recognizing the power that animals have in lifting seniors’ spirits and providing a sense of companionship, more communities are partnering with pet therapy (sometimes called animal therapy) programs to bring a little sunshine to their residents’ days.

How Therapy Dog Visits Work

Therapy Dogs International is one such program that helps senior living communities bring pet therapy programs to their residents. According to Therapy Dog International, dog visits are typically organized based on residents’ capabilities, either as group activities or individual visits to a resident’s room or apartment. Therapy Dog International provides pet therapy services in senior living communities across the United States. “As a recreational activity, Therapy Dogs and their handlers typically visit in a designated public area at a specific time that is agreed upon beforehand. Residents stop by to visit with the dog teams unless they are unable to do so. If that is the case, the dog teams might then visit the residents in their rooms or apartments instead of the public area.”

These weekly visits from furry, four-legged friends are often a much-anticipated event by residents, sometimes even the highlight of the week. Therapy Dogs often bring back memories of residents’ own pets, allowing them the opportunity to reminisce about the pets they once shared their lives with. These visits can be the catalyst to conversations in which residents share joyful memories with one another and tell stories about their own beloved pets, whether it be their crazy antics, their loveable nature, or the quirky personality traits that allow our pets to leave a paw print on our hearts forever.

Nursing Homes Among the First Communities to Embrace Pet Therapy

According to ProgramsforElderly.com, Pet Therapy International first introduced the concept of Pet Therapy three decades ago, and nursing homes embraced the idea as a life-enriching activity for residents. Therapy dogs provide interactive, stimulating activities that break up typical, day-to-day routines and can even elicit responses from residents who are otherwise withdrawn and have limited abilities.

“Therapy Dogs provide an opportunity for nursing home seniors to give and receive physical touch, display affection, and raise their spirits. Petting, stroking and ‘playing’ with a pet can provide physical activity to non-active senior residents as well as a distraction to reduce the frustration and agitation that comes with limiting abilities as one ages. Animal assisted therapy can transform senior residents into calm state and reduce them from escalating into aggressive interaction with staff and others,” explains ProgramsforElderly.com.

Today, of course, pet therapy programs have become the norm and senior living communities across the nation are taking advantage of the opportunity to provide residents with a heart-warming, enriching experience that’s enjoyable for all. In an upcoming blog post, we’ll profile one senior living provider that has developed a unique pet therapy program for its residents with Alzheimer’s and dementia.