Living with a pet can be so delightful, which is why pet therapy works for so many seniors. Not only can a dog, cat, or parrot brighten up your day, but it can also bring a great deal of purpose and engagement into your life. Spending time pampering or walking your pet can help combat feelings of loneliness and even depression. It promotes your overall health and general wellness, and will more likely than not, help with reducing stress levels. With all that said, we can picture just how pet therapy for seniors can be enriching. Allow us to delve deeper into pet therapy, where the companionship of a pet can help seniors live happier and more fulfilling lives.
Naturally, not just every pet can be a therapist. Some pets can be naughty and trying, hardly suitable for seniors to manage. Animals used in pet therapy are often specially trained. They usually go through an obedience course and are well socialized to ensure they react well to the elderly who are less mobile than youths. There are broadly three main types of pet therapy experts have identified.
It is the most common form of pet therapy and will involve either a pet being brought to the senior’s home or vice versa.
This is where the senior owns the pet. Of course, this is only possible if the senior can take full responsibility for the pet, including payments for grooming and veterinary care.
This form is reserved for seniors who need more extreme support. Examples are guide dogs, dolphins, and horses. These animals can help promote physical skills and regrow confidence.
What are the Benefits?
There are a great many benefits to owning a pet in general, and just as many for seniors taking part in pet therapy. Studies have found that spending just 15 minutes with an animal can trigger increased serotonin levels in the brain, making you feel better and fight depression or loneliness. These are what seniors who stay home are at risk of facing, and as such, pet therapy can help them directly. Among the emotional and mental benefits of pet therapy are increased self-esteem, lessened anxiety, reduced fear of loneliness, as well as improved mental stimulation, and better memory. The more interactive types of pet therapy will get seniors to interact directly with the pet, perhaps by bringing it out on walks, which will indirectly encourage exercise, better mobility, and lower blood pressure.
If you wish to try out some form of pet therapy, why not come to Discovery Village At Twin Creeks? Here we help retiring seniors relax and give them a place they can feel at home. Contact us to learn more.