Assisted Living communities are supportive, home-like residences for elderly people who may require assistance with activities of daily living. Depending on the individual’s capability, dog visits are organized either as a group activity or, if necessary, in a resident’s room or apartment.
People are able to receive the help and care they need, as they make the transition from Independent Living to Assisted Living, without compromising their dignity and independence. Activities of daily living include, but are not limited to, bathing, dressing, medication management, recreational support, meal services, and medical services
TDI members and their therapy dogs often respond to Assisted Living communities across the United States. Their time, effort and work help to make a huge difference in the lives of the elderly. 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.
The residents of the Assisted Living communities look forward to the arrival of the Therapy Dogs and to many, the visits are the highlight of their week. Often, the elderly are reminded of dogs that they’ve had in their past and the joyful memories are quite evident to everyone involved. As years go by, the elderly often experience feelings of loneliness and insecurity especially because they are not involved in as many activities as they were in the past. Therapy Dogs help to involve the elderly to live a happy, productive life by filling a need that is not being addressed in any other way. Residents often look forward to the dogs visit and they cherish the moments they spend together.