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Is Therapy Going to the Dogs?

Is Therapy Going to the Dogs?

Going through medical rehabilitation or being in a long-term-care facility can carry a great deal of stress and potential loneliness. Animal-assisted therapy uses dogs or other animals to help people recover from or better cope with health issues. These may include heart disease, stroke recovery, cancer or long-term-care adjustment.

These animals not only can provide comfort and enjoyment to patients and residents, but also can be taught to reinforce rehabilitation efforts that involve throw a ball or walking. Pet therapy can impact pain reduction, stress, depression and fatigue for those who are undergoing medical treatment.

Healthcare facilities that use pet therapy have stringent rules that ensure pets are clean, vaccinated, trained and screened before they can share their adorableness with patients. In addition, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has never received a report of infection from animal-assisted therapy.

So if you or your loved one is feeling a little gloomy, consider requesting pet therapy to lift their spirits. Having their therapy “go to the dogs” might be just what the doctor orders.

As part of our commitment to the wellness of our residents, Senior Care Centers provides a wide variety of wellness programs that address the mind, body and soul. To learn more, contact us today.

Five Great Exercises for Senior Citizens

5 Great Exercises for Seniors.

We all know that exercise burns calories, good for the heart, and helps strengthen bones. But did you know that many chronic health conditions that trouble senior citizens could be prevented or improved with regular exercise? High blood pressure, metabolic syndrome (which leads to type-2 diabetes and obesity), heart disease, depression, and arthritis are some of the serious diseases that can be slowed, improved, or lessened in severity with regular physical activity. Regular exercise is also thought to lower the overall risk of dementia and many types of cancer.

Senior citizens don’t have to exercise strenuously to achieve benefits and it’s never too late to start. The following activities can be modified to provide light to moderate activity for seniors of almost any level of mobility.

Never Too Late

Healthcare facilities that use pet therapy have stringent rules that ensure pets are clean, vaccinated, trained and screened before they can share their adorableness with patients. In addition, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has never received a report of infection from animal-assisted therapy.

Walking

The original and still the best, walking is simply a fantastic exercise for seniors. It’s low impact, does not require special training or equipment, and can be done anywhere. Even older seniors who have been sedentary for a long time can walk for exercise by starting small and building up to longer periods of 30 minutes or more.

Aerobics

Low-impact aerobics is another excellent way to get senior citizens moving. Aerobics can take many forms including water aerobics, chair aerobics (for those with limited mobility), and aerobic dance. Just add lively music and you’ve got not just exercise, but a senior citizens’ social event, as well.

Swimming

A great full-body workout, swimming is an excellent way for seniors to improve both strength and stamina in one activity. Swimming is non-impact and therefore a good choice for senior citizens who suffer from joint pain.

Tai Chi

An ancient Chinese tradition first developed for self-defense, Tai chi is a graceful form of exercise that uses deep breathing and a series of gentle stretching movements that keep the body in motion. Tai chi is helpful for older adults because it is low impact, reduces stress, and improves strength, balance, and flexibility.

Strive 2 Thrive

The wellness program at Senior Care Centers, seeks to create a culture of wellness within each of our residential communities. The S2T mission recognizes the importance of physical activity in maintaining health of the whole individual. Contact us to learn more about Strive 2 Thrive or call 844-722-8800.

Benefits of adult painting and color art

Benefits of adult painting.

We know that children love coloring with crayons, but did you know that this has become a popular pastime for adults, too? Nearly 12 million adult coloring books were sold in the US in 2015. There are some surprising health benefits that come from this simple, pleasurable activity.

Brain Health

Coloring helps stimulate the brain and may help prevent or delay the onset of dementia in senior citizens. Coloring stimulates the frontal lobes, which regulate organization, problem solving, focus and concentration. Both hemispheres of the brain must work together to plan a balanced design, then select and combine colors. The cerebral cortex must also engage to coordinate vision and to enable the fine motor skills required to color the page.

Reduces Stress and Anxiety

Many older adults are troubled with anxiety, particularly as they lose their independence. Psychologists have been prescribing art therapy for their patients for decades to help with anxiety and depression. Coloring Mandalas (designs featuring concentric circles and geometric patterns) can produce a calm, meditative-like state that can soothe and comfort, displacing negative thoughts with more positive ones.

Generates Nostalgia

The activity of coloring can transport us. This can be a comforting experience for seniors who may be living apart from loved ones.

Can Be a Group Activity

Coloring is now a social activity. Coloring and conversation go well together. This is a wonderful activity to do with friends, and you can share colored pencils!

Anyone Can Do It

Coloring is a low cost, simple activity that almost everyone can enjoy. Coloring pages can be printed off the Internet if coloring books aren’t available. Designs can be simple or complex, and no artistic ability is required. Coloring is an easy way to get senior citizens involved in making something beautiful. The pictures can be displayed in common areas or on the walls of the artists’ rooms.

Adult coloring is one of the many activities available at Senior Care Center facilities. To obtain more information on Senior Care Centers, send us a message or call 844-722-8800.