Mary Lee Morris is a big Virginia Cavaliers fans and a lover of dogs. And she’s just one of many residents of RoseWood Village in Albemarle County who enjoys weekly visits from Remy.
“I think it brightens your day. I mean, you have something lively going on and coming in.”
Home Instead Senior Care teams up with facilities like RoseWood Village to encourage Pet Therapy. Caregivers take dogs to visit senior citizens several times a week.
“The whole aspect of what I see is the one-on-one between the residents or the patient and the dog,” says Christine Shaw, a community service representative at Home Instead. “They’re petting and stroking and their stress relief is happening in front of my eyes. I can see their smile go from ear to ear; it’s almost a tangible view of their stress level being eliminated.”
RoseWood Village, which currently has four dogs that come in for visits, is one of only a few senior assisted living facilities in the Charlottesville area that allows pets, an amenity executive director Judi Cleary doesn’t think any senior center should exclude.
“One of the great things about pets is it’s an opportunity to give and get affection. As we age, we lose people in our lives and we start receiving a lot of physical care, but we don’t get much of an opportunity to give affection,” she explained. “So a pet visiting the seniors is a great opportunity for that to happen.”