Many professional caregivers recommend pet therapy for older adults. But people often mistake therapy pets with service animals. They are not the same! A therapy pet provides a social, personal, emotional, physical, and cognitive boost for the elderly, while a service animal has a mission of helping the disabled. Many animals can serve as a therapy pet, but the most common choices are cats and dogs that undergo specialized training.
These animals can be used with older adults that are recovering from an injury or surgery. They can also aid seniors with special needs, in nursing homes, and even those who receive in-home care. The benefits for older adults who work with therapy pets are numerous. These animals provide companionship, encourage general health, and promote longevity—all of which is essential for seniors.
Here we have listed only a couple of the benefits that older adults get from trained therapy pets.
* The interaction between seniors and a pet can provide seniors with stability during a turbulent period. Emotional security comes from the bond that the animal and seniors create between them.
* Every pet needs daily attention and provisions of food, water, and exercise. When elderly adults dedicate themselves to providing all of this to a pet, they will also lead a more active lifestyle. Additional activity can stave off conditions such as heart disease or stroke.
* The bond between a dog or cat and an older adult will help the latter with feelings of anxiety and stress. The companionship of a pet will also reduce the chances of the elderly person falling into depression. If you didn’t know, simply petting a cat or a dog will release endorphins into the brain, which can promote positive feelings and relax seniors.
* Having a pet to spend time with an older adult will prevent them from feeling lonely and isolated.
* According to studies, seniors who live with a pet require less medical attention.
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