Providing Comfort: Therapy Dogs & Robotic Pets

By 13th March, 2020 OLA News Comments Off

Therapy dogs and emotional support animals are often recognized for their amazing abilities and positive effects on those they visit. For older adults, these health benefits can include, but are not limited to less stress, feelings of safety, love and companionship, better cognitive function, improved socialization and increased mobility from interaction. Dogs are often thought of when discussing service and emotional support animals, but other animals, even robotic animals, can provide companionship with identical results.

robotic dogs and catsAt Our Lady of Angels Retirement Home, pet therapy has become a very popular, well attended activity for residents. Residents are able to interact with the visiting dogs – pet them, play and give them treats. Smiles abound, comfort dogs never fail to delight. The dogs are attuned to the residents’ emotions and know just how to interact.

Pet therapy runs every Thursday at 10:30a.m. in OLA’s activity room. OLA is regularly visited by owners with their comfort dogs, as well as volunteers with local shelter dogs that work well with seniors.

Comfort therapy does not stop with just visiting pets. OLA also has a collection of small, life-like robotic dogs and cats that give residents companionship without the added responsibility of a real animal. These furry friends are hypo-allergenic so they can be loved by those with pet allergies. “Residents can ‘take home’ a pet for a few days and care for it,” states Activity & Volunteer Coordinator, Tiffany Williams. The dogs and cats have realistic fur and breathe just like a living animal. They come with a bed and small brush. Tiffany adds, “These pets are especially beneficial for seniors with dementia and Alzheimer’s. The pets are low-maintenance while helping to alleviate dementia symptoms such as agitation and depression.”

Enhance your quality of living with Our Lady of Angels Retirement Home, a resident-centered, caring community. Call and schedule a tour today. To speak directly with OLA’s Director of Admissions regarding what level of care is best for you or your loved one, call 815-725-6631.

OLA Walks to End Alzheimer’s

By 1st October, 2018 OLA News Comments Off

According to the Alzheimer’s Association, “1 in 3 seniors dies with Alzheimer’s or another dementia and every 65 seconds, someone in the United States develops the disease.”

This year, a dedicated team from Our Lady of Angels Retirement Home has decided to join the fight against Alzheimer’s by participating in Will County’s annual Walk to End Alzheimer’s on Saturday, October 6th. OLA team members currently include Rebecca Reiter, Jake Ancel, Carolyn Krause Platt, John Ancel, Skylar Carter, Anita Lane, Paula Hargis, Jenny Guiney, Jodi Ancel, Stormy Reiter, Thomas Reiter, Veronica Turner and Ashley Vehrs.

The team has currently raised roughly $1,500 and hopes to meet a goal of $2,000 by October 6th. All funds go directly to Alzheimer’s care, support and research. If you would like to help Team OLA reach their goal, please consider donating here. You can donate directly to the team as a group or select which team member you’d like to support.

As the number of Americans living with Alzheimer’s grows each year, we need to be vigilant to spread awareness, support medical research and support those currently suffering from or caring for loved ones with the disease.

On behalf of our OLA community, we would like to wish all participants a successful walk this upcoming weekend!