Daisy the yellow lab is this Kent retirement community’s cutest employee!

Pet therapy boosts seniors’ mental and physical health, and three-month-old Daisy is ‘begging’ to help

Three-month-old yellow lab Daisy is part of the Cadence at Kent-Meridian Furtissimo Pet Program, sharing comfort and cuddles with residents.

Three-month-old yellow lab Daisy is part of the Cadence at Kent-Meridian Furtissimo Pet Program, sharing comfort and cuddles with residents.

Meet Daisy, a three-month old American Kennel Club registered yellow lab. Daisy is a very active puppy who, according to her pet parent Monica Rangel, loves playing fetch, tug of war and belly scratches.

“Daisy is still learning, but she can sit and stay on command — about 90 percent of the time,” says Rangel with a smile.

When she’s not playing in the leaves with Daisy, Rangel is the Executive Director of Cadence at Kent-Meridian, an Independent and Assisted Living community welcoming its founding residents in the coming weeks. And Rangel is excited that Daisy will play a significant role in welcoming residents home.

The perks of pet therapy

Among the symphony of programs enriching daily life at Cadence is the Furtissimo Pet Program.

“Research shows that therapy animals and pet visits can increase social engagement, physical activity and elevate the mood long after the visit is over,” Rangel says. “Through the Furtissimo Pet Program, Cadence integrates animals (including Daisy) into many of our wellness programs to promote meaningful interactions with residents.”

Daisy exploring her new home at Cadence at Kent-Meridian.

Daisy exploring her new home at Cadence at Kent-Meridian.

Benefits of pet therapy for seniors:

  • Improved physical health: The simple act of touching an animal can lower stress and blood pressure levels. Walking, grooming and feeding an animal also encourages people to stay active.
  • Increased socialization: Animals listen without judgement and give unbiased affection, which provides emotional stability and social contact for isolated seniors.
  • Boosted self-esteem: Caring for an animal gives many people a sense of purpose, allowing them to feel useful. Being responsible for something can boost self-esteem.

Cadence at Kent-Meridian is pet-friendly, so your four-legged family members are always welcome. There are convenient outdoor areas for daily walks, and services can be provided for their care if needed. For seniors hoping to enjoy the benefits of a furry friend without the daily chores, Daisy and other members of the Furtissimo Pet Program will regularly visit with residents.

Before undergoing pet therapy, individuals or their caregivers should consult with a therapist to figure out which form of pet therapy will be most beneficial. Dogs welcomed to the Cadence Furtissimo Pet Program are screened and gently introduced to the environment to ensure they’ll be a good fit.

For more information on amenities and available homes, visit cadencesl.com/communities/cadence-at-kent-meridian, or call 253-549-9300 to schedule a tour. Follow Cadence at Kent-Meridian on Facebook and Instagram for the latest news, and to catch more photos of Daisy!

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