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Pet Therapy

There have been hundreds of research articles published on the benefits of pet therapy for people with dementia and seniors. Multiple studies have cited benefits such as improved mood and more social interaction — notable benefits since people with dementia are at risk for developing depression, which can further compromise their functioning and quality of life. Studies indicate that involving residents in activities with animals decreases feelings of anxiety and sadness and increased physical activity and positive emotions. The benefits are almost endless for all residents. 

For mental health –

  • Decreases isolation and depression
  • Causes many to feel calm
  • Bridges communication gaps
  • Provides comfort
  • Reduces boredom
  • Lowers anxiety and decreases agitation
  • Diminishes emotional pain in seniors

For physical health –

  • The act of petting produces an automatic relaxation response
  • Stabilizes blood pressure
  • Reduces the risk of heart disease, heart attacks, & stroke
  • Breathing slows in those who are anxious
  • Releases many hormones such as Phenyl ethylamine which has the same effect as chocolate
  • Diminishes overall physical pain

Anyone can benefit

  • Increases socialization /encourages communication
  • Helps person focus
  • Can bring person back to the present

Inner contentment may not be verbally expressed but can be seen in eating better, sleeping better and greater cooperation