What is Pet Therapy for Seniors?

Playful cat laying on the side walk.

Being a pet owner comes with many responsibilities. Pets require individual’s time and attention. It may be for this reason that many seniors are not able to keep a pet at home. If health problems or ambulation problems exist, it may seem too demanding to having and caring for a pet.
There is an alternative to owning a pet and it’s called Pet Therapy. So what is it and what does it do?
Simply put, there are pet therapy groups that will take the pet to various assisted living, senior centers or even to an individual’s home. Seniors can interact with pets while they are there. The benefits of pet therapy are diverse and may contribute to physical and mental well being of seniors.
Pet therapy for seniors is also known as Assisted Animal Therapy. Studies suggest that even 15 minutes spent with an animal is responsible for promoting hormonal changes within the brain. The brain produces serotonin, a hormone which make us feel good is responsible for reducing stress levels. Pet therapy offers many amazing health benefits for seniors both physically and emotionally.
Seniors may feel isolated and depressed due to loved ones not being nearby or death of a spouse. They may feel they cannot communicate or express their emotions anymore. Therapy animals can help bring them out of their depressed state making them happier and healthier.
Below are just some of the benefits of owning a pet or pet therapy;

  • Walking a dog provides exercise for seniors resulting in improved mobility and healthier lifestyle.
  • Touching a pet reduces stress levels resulting in lower blood pressure and normal heart rate.
  • Pets provide unbiased affection towards their owners. They listen to their owners without passing judgment. Seniors may sometimes choose to share those inner feelings with just their pets that they can’t share with their family or friends.
  • For seniors who have reduced communicate due to Alzheimer’s/dementia or any other disease, animals can be soothing.
  • Having a pet provides seniors with a sense of responsibility and improve their lives on the whole. This helps boost seniors self-confidence.
  • Seniors know they have a friend besides them who loves unconditionally.

Latest Posts in our Home Care Blog

  • Alzheimer’s Association Welcomes U.S. FDA Approval of Lecanemab
    Association Renews Urgent Call for CMS to Cover FDA-Approved Alzheimer’s Treatments CHICAGO, January 6, 2023 — The Alzheimer’s Association enthusiastically welcomes today’s U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) action to grant the accelerated approval of Leqembi™ (lecanemab) (Eisai/Biogen) for the treatment of patients in mild cognitive impairment (MCI) or mild dementia stage of Alzheimer’s disease and with confirmation ...

    Read More

  • Outdoor Activities for Seniors
    Seniors living alone are prone to outdoor isolation, especially after the loss of a spouse or friends. This sense of isolation can increase if seniors rarely leave home. Many seniors take advantage of group activities such as book clubs or volunteering to maintain social interaction, but spending time with nature, even alone has the potential ...

    Read More

  • Early Signs and Symptoms of Alzheimer’s
    Memory loss that disrupts daily life may be a symptom of Alzheimer’s or other dementia. Alzheimer’s is a brain disease that causes a slow decline in memory, thinking and reasoning skills. There are 10 warning signs and symptoms. If you notice any of them, don’t ignore them. Schedule an appointment with your doctor. Get checked. ...

    Read More

  • Talking to Your Parents About Home Care
    Guidelines for Facilitating In-Home Care for Aging Parents How to Encourage Your Parent to Accept Help
  • AccuAid Care Won 2022 Best of Senior Living Award by aPlaceforMom
  • Sundowners a Soft Word
    Sundowners – it’s such a soft sounding word for a very challenging condition. Sundowning refers to an extreme state of confusion that often occurs during the late afternoon or evening for people with dementia or Alzheimer’s