As we age, it’s natural to experience changes in physical and mental health, and these changes can sometimes lead to feelings of isolation and loneliness. Fortunately, there’s a simple and effective solution for seniors that doesn’t involve medication or therapy: pet therapy. Although it may not be feasible for all seniors to own pets, pet therapy programs in senior housing in Denver can provide similar benefits. Here, the advantages of pet therapy for the elderly and why it’s worth considering for seniors looking to enhance their overall well-being are explored.
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Helps To Reduce Loneliness
Pet therapy can be highly advantageous for human beings, especially when it comes to companionship. However, allowing senior citizens to bring their pets along can raise concerns about their ability to care for the pet and ensure their welfare.
Research indicates that seniors who had pets before moving to assisted living communities can reap even more benefits from pet companionship. Nevertheless, studies also show that individuals who did not previously have pets can also derive advantages from pet therapy.
Reduces Chances Of Disease
From a physical perspective, owning a pet can be highly beneficial, particularly for seniors, as it can effectively reduce cholesterol levels and even serve as a preventative measure against the onset of cardiovascular diseases and stroke.
Aids Seniors With Dementia
Using pet therapy can be highly advantageous for seniors with dementia, as it can effectively reduce their levels of agitation. Furthermore, the presence of pets can also promote an increase in food consumption and encourage engagement in physical activity among seniors.
Cope With Depression
A study conducted in a veteran’s home revealed that pet therapy can have a positive impact on the lives of seniors. The study involved two groups of participants: one group received pet therapy while the other did not.
The findings of the study showed that pet therapy was effective in combating depression and that patients who interacted with their pets reported better outcomes after just a few weeks. Furthermore, even a brief 15-minute bonding session with animals was found to increase the production of serotonin, which is responsible for feelings of well-being, while simultaneously decreasing cortisol, which is associated with the stress response.
Pet therapy can have a significant impact on the socialization of seniors. Pets, whether they are dogs, cats, or other animals, can make it easier for seniors to interact with others. When seniors interact with pets, they often find themselves in situations where they must communicate with others, whether it be pet owners, handlers, or other individuals also participating in pet therapy.
Pet therapy programs also often involve group activities, such as pet walks or visits, which can provide opportunities for seniors to interact and socialize with other participants. The presence of pets can also serve as a conversation starter and provide a common interest for individuals to connect over.
If you’re seeking senior housing that offers activities such as pet therapy for your senior residents, consider senior housing in Denver. Call today!