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The Healing Power of Pets : A Paws-itive Impact on Elders

The Healing Power of Pets : A Paws-itive Impact on Elders

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Pets are more than just furry friends. They offer love, comfort, and companionship to people of all ages, but especially to older adults. Owning a pet or participating in pet therapy can tremendously impact seniors' physical and emotional well-being.

Multiple studies have shown that interacting with pets reduces stress and lowers blood pressure. In addition, simply petting a dog or cat can release happy hormones, such as serotonin and oxytocin, which help us feel more relaxed and put us in an overall more optimistic mood.

While all of our communities are pet-friendly, some elders may not want or do not have the means to fully commit to owning a pet, and that’s okay; we regularly schedule pet therapy visits. Pet therapy is an excellent way for seniors to interact with trained service animals in a relaxed and comfortable setting. In addition, pet therapy provides many of the same benefits as owning a pet.

Owning pets and attending pet therapy can benefit older adults tremendously. The list goes on and on, but we have narrowed the list down to five ways pets can benefit seniors:

  1. Reduce loneliness

  2. Lower stress levels

  3. Increase physical activity

  4. Improve mental health

  5. Boost socialization

 

Reduce loneliness

Pets offer a constant source of companionship and can significantly help reduce feelings of loneliness and isolation. Sometimes seniors may have moments where they feel disconnected from people they hold dear, as they may live far away or don’t want to seem like a burden. Owning pets or attending pet therapy can help fill that void and help build self-esteem and new relationships.

Lower stress levels

Interacting with pets has been shown to decrease stress levels by reducing the production of cortisol, a stress-inducing hormone. Additionally, interacting with furry friends has been shown to lower blood pressure and can help reduce feelings of anxiety while boosting one’s mood and energy levels.

Increase physical activity

Pets can help seniors become more active by giving them a reason to walk or engage in other forms of exercise, which can help improve mobility, balance, and overall health.

Improve mental health

Furry friends can help give seniors a sense of purpose, joy, and fulfillment, as well as help them stick to a schedule. All of these things can help improve mental health and reduce feelings of anxiety and depression. Of course, owning a pet can provide all of these benefits, but attending pet therapy sessions consistently can also.

Boost socialization

Lastly, pets can help seniors meet other pet owners and connect with others who share a love of animals, which can help reduce feelings of social isolation and improve overall well-being. Attending pet therapy and other activities can help seniors socialize and build new relationships, as well.

 

Overall, pets can provide many incredible benefits to seniors, whether they want to have a pet of their own or attend pet therapy sessions. We know that pets greatly benefit seniors, and we proudly offer pet-friendly communities.

Want to learn more about our pet policy? Give us a call today!

A Beautiful Life for Your Loved One