It is well known that interaction with our furry friends has significant health benefits. Dogs and cats are most commonly used for pet therapy but, birds and robotic simulating animals are also for this type of therapy. Pet therapy is the interaction between a person and a trained animal. Bonding with a friendly pet can help with a variety of physical and mental issues. Studies indicate that those who spend regular time with pets often have lower blood pressure and triglyceride counts. So what are some of the benefits of pet therapy?
Insufficient social relationships can be a cause of one’s loneliness. It is common for people in long-term care facilities to show signs of loneliness. Studies have shown that pet therapy can decrease pain, respiratory rate, negative moods and increase energy levels. Pet therapy is one of the many low-tech, low-cost holistic therapies that improve mood and are meaningful to seniors.
Improves Social Skills
Pet therapy has shown positive results for individuals with Alzheimer’s and Dementia, especially when dogs are present. A study conducted at the Veterans Hospital presented, “Residents had more verbal interactions with each other when a dog was present in the room than when there was no dog present.” Pets can also be a great way to start up conversations and can bridge the gap between people of all ages.
Provides a Sense Of Purpose
It is common for the elderly population to have symptoms of depression and isolate themselves from family and social outings. Studies have shown that pet therapy has the ability to reduce those symptoms of depressions and loneliness. Pets provide a sense of purpose because they depend on their owners for food, exercise, and companionship. Taking care of a pet can be a big responsibility and require a daily regimen which can provide structure to the owner’s day. According to NCBI, “responsibility is widely considered important in mental health recovery.”
At Spring Hills Senior Communities, our staff have witnessed just how much having a pet enhances the lives and joy of our home care recipients. Our home care providers encourage our clients to interact with their pets which not only enables them to express their nurturing side but also provides comfort, fulfillment and a sense of purpose in their lives To learn more about the benefits of pet therapy and our PAW Program, click here.