moments matter

A Senior Living Resource Blog from The Goodman Group

Therapy Pets for Dementia Residents (Batteries Included)

Posted by The Goodman Group on May 29, 2024


Animal and pet therapy has long been recognized as calming and soothing for seniors—especially those in dementia and Alzheimer’s care. Many senior living communities managed by The Goodman Group sponsor animal therapy programs, where residents can interact with animals periodically. While those programs are wonderful, they depend on the availability of the animals, which can be limiting. That’s where companion pets come in.


They’re interactive, battery-operated, robotic pets that have been shown to provide much of the same comfort, joy and companionship as a live pet. Companion pets were designed specifically for seniors in mind. However, they can provide companionship for anyone and are especially great for those who live alone. Companion pets come in dog, cat and even bird versions and feature authentic sounds and realistic movements. 


Interior_CompanionPets_384x256While many senior living communities have animal therapy programs or even allow resident pets, that may not be feasible in all circumstances. Some residents may have allergies and caregivers can’t always help with pet maintenance. Companion pets are ideal for those situations. They offer residents many of the benefits of having a pet without the responsibilities of daily walks or tending to the cat box!


Yes, they truly are realistic. Sometimes people wonder, however, if a mechanical pet is somewhat insulting to an older adult as if someone is trying to fool them into thinking the pet is real. Memory care team members from communities managed by The Goodman Group have not noticed this to be the case. Instead, they share that, “Many of the residents know they’re not real. In fact, some of our memory care residents know how to turn them on and off."guide to senior living

Even though the companion pets aren’t “real,” they seem to create the same results as live animal therapy. They produce smiles, calm nerves, and give residents a sense of friendship, which at the end of the day is what truly matters.

Topics: Senior Living, Caregivers

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