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Willy the Yellow Lab Brings Smiles to Ovation Residents

Kavod Connections

Pet Therapy Enhances Social, Emotional and Physical Health for Seniors

Bob Peterson visits Ovation Communities every Thursday afternoon. While he has no family members living at Ovation, residents and staff eagerly anticipate his weekly visits with Willy, a nine-year-old yellow lab, by his side.


Sometimes pets are more than just furry friends. Willy is a certified therapy dog who has worked with Bob visiting hospitals and senior living communities for most of his life. Research has shown significant social, emotional and overall health benefits for seniors who have regular interaction with animals. Pet therapy can bring numerous benefits to health and wellbeing, improving overall quality of life. Spending time with a pet can also be a powerful way to combat loneliness and isolation, bringing comfort and companionship while reducing stress.


“Willy gets such a positive response when we visit Ovation,” said Peterson. “Many of the residents are waiting for us when we arrive. They seem to really enjoy the chance to spend time with Willy and give him a pet or hug.”

The benefits have been mutual. Willy looks forward to the Thursday afternoon visits and gets excited as soon as he jumps in the car. Peterson too enjoys the opportunity to connect with others and give back.


“It is so rewarding to get the chance to brighten someone’s day,” added Peterson.
“Willy loves making people happy, and I enjoy the time visiting with residents and sharing stories. It has been nice for both of us to make new friends.”

BENEFITS OF PET THERAPY FOR OLDER ADULTS

Emotional Benefits

Physical Benefits

Social /Mental Benefits


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