A Therapy Dog for Memory Care: Beethoven
Meet our mascot, Beethoven! We had a lovely holiday season here, and this is a photo of Beethoven enjoying one of his gifts. Beethoven has played the role of more than just mascot, however. He is a therapy dog and was first adopted by Megan after the elders at the memory care facility were she was director “voted” unanimously for a facility dog. She picked the name ‘Beethoven’ for a number of reasons, “one being that it is a longer-term memory name that many of the elders could remember. We had the Humane Society come out once a week to work on training Beethoven with the residents’ involvement. There was much laughter and applause as he learned new things. Physical Therapy uses him to motivate elders to go on walks around the building. Activity Staff will have him walk with them to gather folks for activities and to do one-on-one visits with more reclusive elders.” (From A Deeper Perspective on Alzheimer’s and Other Dementias: Practical Tools With Spiritual Insights, p. 160)
Megan and Beethoven now work from a home office, but when Megan has the opportunity to do an assessment or family consultation in an assisted living building, he absolutely loves coming along, and is proud to be able to provide love and support to the residents and families.
Here is an article about some of the roles that therapy dogs can play with people with Alzheimer’s and other dementias.