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5 Benefits of Pet Therapy for Seniors

Spending time with dogs, cats, or other pets provides the elderly with several important physical, emotional, and mental benefits that can increase their quality of life. If seniors need professional home care, North Coast families can consider including pet therapy as part of the process for these reasons.

1. Decreased Risk of Depression

Elderly people who spend a lot of time alone have a high risk of depression. Pet therapy provides your loved one with the opportunity to spend time with an animal he or she feels comfortable talking to or just sitting quietly with. This can help boost your loved one’s emotional wellbeing and prevent depression.

2. Lowered Blood Pressure

Seniors with high blood pressure have an increased risk of developing heart problems, especially as they age. Being around a pet has been shown to lower blood pressure levels, which helps lower the risk of heart disease, heart attacks, and other coronary issues. In fact, seniors with heart problems who participate in pet therapy tend to have longer lifespans than those who do not.

3. Increased Physical Activity

It’s important for your loved one to stay physically active to lower the risk of falls and to help reduce pain, stiffness, and other symptoms of conditions like arthritis. Pet therapy gives your loved one a chance to get some exercise by taking a dog on walks, which can help him or her maintain strength and flexibility.

4. Reduced Stress

Seniors, especially those with dementia, can become stressed or frustrated when they have difficulty communicating with other people. If your loved one has dementia, having pets around offers a chance for him or her to bond and connect with others without having to rely on language. Using pet therapy as part of your loved one’s North Coast dementia care can help ease symptoms of the condition.

5. Enhanced Self-Esteem

Some seniors experience a loss of confidence and lowered self-esteem when they have to depend on others. Having pets around to spend time with and take care of can help boost your loved one’s self-confidence and self-esteem and help him or her continue to feel independent.

Though the therapeutic qualities of animals are wonderful to engage in, some seniors thrive better with a human touch. At Home Care Assistance, we make sure to match the right compassionate caregiver with your loved one to ensure he or she receives high-quality home care from a trusted companion. We also offer comprehensive Parkinson’s, stroke, and Alzheimer’s care North Coast families trust. To learn more and to request a no-obligation consultation in your home, call (02) 6646 3527 to speak with one of our friendly Care Managers.