Pet therapy can differ when it comes to benefits for elders, but research has shown that introducing pets into a senior community can benefit seniors on a physical, mental, and emotional level. The physical aspect may be obvious enough - pets love to play, and they love attention. Beyond that, however, science has proven that the presence of a pet seems to naturally lower blood pressure and stress levels for people of all ages. It is a relationship based on unconditional love, and that actually sparks a physical reaction in many people.
We certainly think that’s true when it comes to our own companion dog, Eddie. Eddie is truly a shining star around here, always ready to greet our clients with a wagging tail. Everyone loves to be near him, whether it’s for a quick snuggle, or allowing him to lay on their lap. Eddie loves the attention, and our clients love the companionship.
Pet therapy is designed to also help with loneliness, and decrease anxiety, as well as offer mental stimulation for the seniors involved. Eddie has certainly been up to the task when it comes to these incredible benefits. His presence alone has been known to spark conversation and engagement, and there are always smiles and laughter filling a room whenever he’s around.
The benefits of pet therapy include everything from helping with depression, to aiding with memory loss; and just about everything in between. The mental, physical, and emotional connections people have with pets are very personal, and everyone reacts just a little bit differently. But, one thing is certain - there is something truly special about seeing a senior light up around a pet, as though you can see those pet therapy effects working instantly. We’re lucky enough to see it almost every day, thanks to Eddie, and it truly is a wonderful thing to experience.