We frequently see older folks who are depressed due to physical frailty or loneliness. Most aged care facilities are turning to animal-assisted therapy, often known as pet therapy, to avoid such an unwelcome situation. There are various advantages to having a pet for the elderly. It might include everything from stress reduction to blood pressure reduction to increased social engagement and physical activity.
Pet therapy can be beneficial for the elderly who live in assisted living facilities or who need support to remain in their own homes.
According to recent studies, having a pet as a friend can help to ease depression to a great amount. It also aids senior pet owners in regaining their self-esteem and confidence, as well as making them more fit, less lonely, more socially expressive.
Benefits of Pets on a Physical Level
Researchers have discovered that having a pet can offer a variety of physical benefits for the owner, including:
Increased physical activity to improve cardiovascular health (lower blood pressure, cholesterol, and triglycerides in men).
Dogs, in particular, encourage us to get outside and enjoy the fresh air while getting some regular exercise. The pets serve as excellent personal trainers and motivators (especially the dogs). Regardless of the weather, they never want to miss a training session. There will be fewer doctor’s appointments.
Pets Give Psychological Benefits
Apart from the abovementioned physical benefits, pets have a significant psychological impact on their owners. These may include the following:
Pets can play an important part in helping older people cope with the loss of a loved one. It’s very likely that after a spouse passes away, the elderly become depressed. Having a pet, according to most Aged Care Providers, can act as a mental healer in such situations, assisting the older adult in overcoming acute depression or loneliness. Pets can be a soothing choice for older people suffering from dementia or who have difficulty communicating. When these people are at ease, it can even help them talk and articulate themselves. Pets allow for nonverbal communication, which can aid in the engagement of persons suffering from Alzheimer’s and dementia. In older folks, just 10 -15 minutes spent with a beloved dog, cat, or another companion animal can boost brain activity and serotonin levels. Serotonin is regarded as “the feel-good hormone” and is involved in both biological function and our positive emotional experiences.