Last week, I brought you some tips to help a loved one with dementia when you visit them. And to help make your visit easier and more successful. One more idea that can benefit you and anyone suffering from dementia when you visit…if it works for you…
Ok, not exactly puppies but dogs. Ok, not just any dog but a calm, friendly and well-behaved one. Ok and vaccinated – must be up-to-date on vaccinations.
Dogs are great for spreading joy and calm. They love just about everyone unconditionally and who doesn’t need that! Petting a dog lowers heart rate, blood pressure and STRESS! So, dogs are a health benefit.
That is, as long as no one is allergic! Sneezing can raise blood pressure. Itchy, watery eyes are no fun…so check before bringing if there are allergies. Also, if you are visiting the loved one in a nursing home or hospital, be sure it is allowed.
There are types of dogs that are more, shall we say, hypoallergenic than others. Dogs that don’t shed but have coats that must be cut have less dander and cause less reactions. But don’t guess, check the policy first.
Don’t have a dog? Borrow one! Some shelters have a pet therapy program and you can schedule them for a visit. Great for the dog to get out and for everyone else as well.
If you have a loved one suffering from dementia, in a hospital or nursing home or homebound, a visit will go a long way. It will be good for their overall well-being. It might be good for you as well.