Pet therapy, also known as animal-assisted therapy, is increasingly being used in retirement residences. Studies show that pet therapy is an effective way to improve emotional, social, and cognitive functioning in people suffering from Alzheimer’s and dementia.
But what is pet therapy and what are the benefits?
Pet therapy is a guided interaction with specially trained animals. Dogs and cats are the most common animals used in pet therapy. The benefits include:
1) Decreased stress & blood pressure – Pets have a remarkably calming effect. From a cat’s purr to a dog’s comforting presence, the sense of relaxation that many experience when they spend quality time with a pet helps them relax, reducing stress and blood pressure.
2) Recovery and coping with health problems – Pet therapy is commonly used to recover from or cope with a health issue. Pet therapy can help the rehabilitation process by reducing anxiety and improving motivation to practice other types of therapy, such as physical therapy.
3) Improving mobility – With a trained animal’s assistance, seniors can even enjoy improved mobility. If mobility isn’t an issue, animals can help keep it that way! Dog-owners know that there’s no better motivation to go for a walk than their canine, and there are numerous health benefits to walking.
4) Improved communication & memory – Pets can have major health benefits in memory care. Therapy pets can help stimulate social interaction and can also have a calming effect on people with dementia. A therapy animal may also help memory, sparking reminiscences of past family pets
5) Decreased anxiety – One of the most common reasons people get their own therapy animals is anxiety. Petting or stroking a dog or cat has a remarkably calming effect on people who feel comfortable around animals.
When you’re looking for a retirement residence for an older loved one, ask about the availability of pet therapy. One of your options for retirement residences with pet therapy is All Seniors Care Living Centres. They are a family-owned and operated network of retirement communities and senior care centres. They provide a wide range of health care-oriented seniors housing, including assisted living, nursing, and memory care residences, as well as active lifestyle programming and services.
Besides pet therapy, All Seniors Care residences also allow residents to own pets at no additional cost. For pet lovers, it’s important to live in a residence that recognizes the bonds people share with their animals. Living with pets can help beat loneliness; while seniors moving into retirement residences enjoy more socializing and fun activities, it’s still important to maintain that bond with their beloved animals.
Pets play an important role in every pet-owner’s life, whether they’re young or old. Find a pet-friendly retirement residence where your loved one can discover the benefits of pet therapy for seniors and bring their beloved cat or dog.
When you’re looking for retirement residences for your loved one, ask about whether pets are allowed and about opportunities for pet therapy. Pet therapy is an effective way to unlock a number of health benefits, including decreased stress, lowered blood pressure, self-motivation, improved mood, and even mobility.