Seniors and Pet Therapy
We all know that owning a pet brings joy to our lives. Having unconditional companionship from an animal makes us happy, more active, and less lonely. For seniors with declining health, being around animals can be especially beneficial to their overall wellbeing.
The Benefits of Pet Therapy for Seniors
Pet therapy can have mental, physical, and emotional benefits for the health of seniors. A fifteen-minute bonding session with an animal has been shown to produce hormonal changes within the brain. Prolactin, oxytocin, and serotonin (the “feel-good” hormone) are produced by the brain, lowering stress levels. Research shows that seniors with pets decline in health at a much slower pace than isolated or depressed seniors.
Seniors living with dementia or other forms of cognitive impairment benefit greatly from pet therapy.
- An increase in socialization.
- A stronger sense of purpose.
- Stimulation of the brain.
- Stimulation of memory.
- Reducing negative behaviors related to dementia.
Therapy with pets can have a variety of physical benefits, which typically include:
- Reduced blood pressure.
- Decreased levels of depression, stress, and anxiety.
- Increased levels of physical activity.
Seniors can benefit emotionally from pet therapy in the following ways:
- Loneliness is reduced.
- Improved social skills.
- Risk of depression is lowered.
- A sense of self-worth and confidence.
Since pets offer so many amazing health benefits, they are a great companion for seniors. At Lawrence Street Health Care Center, we provide residents with animal visitation as a form of pet therapy so that they can have better quality of life. Our team is dedicated to showing compassion and respect for each individual to enrich the lives of those we serve. To learn more, give us a call at (281) 357-4516.