Pets are the first step in teaching responsibility, caring and compassion. That’s why so many people fondly remember their childhood pets. However, pets benefit people of all ages. That’s because pets have the ability to positively affect physical and mental well-being. Not to mention, most people enjoy the company of furry friends, especially if they weren’t able to bring they’re own pet to the facility.
Physical Benefits of Pet Therapy
At Sallys Residential Care Home in Camarillo, CA, we offer our residents a pet therapy program that offers residents the company of a furry friend on a regular basis. People who partake in the program may notice they have a decrease in their blood pressure, which is vital for those who have cardiovascular issues. Pet therapy releases oxytocin, a hormone that has a calming effect.
Mental Health Benefits of Animal Therapy
Pets have a tendency to induce an automatic calming effect. They heighten people’s spirits, and therefore, decrease depression. Depression is actually a common condition in seniors. The physicians’ solution for depression tends to mean a prescription depression medication. However, pets reduce depression naturally, meaning it’s possible a regular pet therapy session will decrease a person’s reliance on prescription remedies.
Transitioning from living in their own home to moving into a residential facility oftentimes stimulates mixed emotions that can include isolation. Sometimes, people feel abandoned by their families, even if placement into Sally’s Residential Care Home was to benefit the person’s health and well-being. Pet therapy reduces the feelings of isolation. This is especially the case in residents who don’t try to socialize with other residents in the facility. Since pet’s don’t speak, it’s easier for many people to bond with a pet than another human being. A pet could be the first step to building confidence for the person to socialize with other people.
Pets comfort people when they’re having a difficult time. If a person is feeling homesick after moving in, a pet can help combat the negative emotions and have the ability to make the person feel comfortable and secure in their new surroundings. Anxiety is a common condition that can worsen with age, especially in individuals who have any type of mental health issue or memory impairment. Pets decrease anxiety without the use of a medication. For residents who feel bored and restless, pets give them something to occupy their time.
An animal also has the ability to improve recovery time in patients who are in physical therapy for several reasons. For one, pets act as a motivational technique. They also increase happiness and confidence, which has the potential to enhance a person’s performance in rehabilitation.