Furry Friends: The Benefits of Pet Therapy
For seniors, the benefits of being a part of a pet therapy program can be life-changing. From walking a pet to increase one’s exercise to the undying love and attention one receives, pet therapy can be a wonderful and beneficial activity. Research has shown that interacting with a pet can benefit a person’s overall quality of life by providing physical, emotional and social stimulus, especially interactions with animals in a long-term care setting!
Pets can make seniors feel needed, which can translate into a sense of purpose and self-worth. The unconditional love of a dog or cat can increase socialization with others, lower stress, mental stimulation and so much more. Our resident’s activity programming allows for pet visits from family members, community members, and animal shelters. Local farms will even bring in their piglets to show off to residents!
Heart Health – Frequent interaction with a pet can lower blood pressure and cholesterol
Increased Physical Activity – Walking, petting or playing with a pet promotes movement
Group Interaction – Interacting with a pet in a group setting stimulates conversation and interaction with others
Involvement in Activities – When pets enter our communities, residents and patients flock to the room of the pet!
Stimulates Memory – Visiting with an animal can trigger memories of childhood pets
Decreased Loneliness – Pets provide companionship, by offering affection, an ear to listen to, & unconditional love.
Stress Relief – Being with a pet increases levels of serotonin, by providing physical contact
Sense of Purpose – From walking, to feeding, to cleaning, making sure the animal is healthy can help a person’s self worth
*All pets must be accompanied with their shot records and on a leash