Our minds and bodies typically change as we age, which can affect our lives. From problems with their bodies to problems with their minds, seniors face many problems that make daily activities harder. But there is a straightforward solution that makes a big difference in the health and happiness of seniors: pet therapy.
In this blog, we’ll address the advantages of pet therapy for the elderly and how it can enhance their mental and physical wellbeing, relieve stress and solitude, and bring them joy and companionship.
Makes the Body Healthier
Pet therapy is an excellent way for seniors to improve their physical health, which is one of its main benefits. Studies have shown that being around animal companion can lower blood pressure, decrease the likelihood of coronary diseases, and even make people less likely to need medicine. In addition, petting a furry friend releases oxytocin, a hormone that makes you feel calmer and less stressed.
Pets can also help seniors feel like they have a reason to stay active and do physical activities. For example, walking a dog can help seniors get outside, get some oxygen and exercise, and even meet other pet owners. This routine can significantly affect seniors’ physical health and lower the likelihood of serious illnesses that come with being inactive.
Decrease Anxiety and Social Isolation
Older people face loneliness, and being away from others is among the most significant problems. This can result in depression, anxiety, and other mental health problems. On the other hand, pet therapy makes people feel less stressed and lonely and encourage them to talk to others.
Research has shown that spending time with a pet reduces the stress hormone cortisol . This can calm seniors down and make them feel less anxious and tense. Pets can also give seniors company and help them meet new people, which makes them feel less isolated and lonely.
Provide Joy and Companionship
The most crucial thing pet therapy can do for seniors is bring them happiness and company. Pets love and accept their owners no matter what, which can significantly affect how seniors feel about themselves. This is particularly true for older people with possibly lost friends or family members or who live alone.
Pets can give seniors a sense of responsibility and purpose, increasing their sense of worth and incentivizing them to get out of bed in the morning. Also, pets are an excellent source of joy and entertainment, which can make seniors laugh and make their day better.
Various Pets Used for Therapies
Cats and dogs are the most common pets used in therapy, yet numerous additional animals can also be helpful to seniors. Some examples include:
Birds: Seniors can feel calm and relaxed when watching and caring for birds.
Fish: Just observing fish swim can be relaxing for seniors and make them feel less stressed.
Rabbits: Rabbits are gentle, social animals that can make seniors feel at ease and give them company.
Pet therapy can significantly impact seniors’ physical and mental health, make them happier and less lonely, and provide happiness and companionship. If you’re older and want to improve your health, consider adopting a pet or volunteering with a pet rescue group. In addition, pets, like dogs, cats, birds, or rabbits, can give seniors unconditional love and acceptance, significantly impacting their quality of life.