Elderly Home Care Blog

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How Pet Therapy Helps Senior Citizens Improve Physical and Mental Health

Picture of Thomas Bay

Thomas Bay

Owner, Anita's Angels

We all know that aging-in-place is beneficial for seniors for many reasons. However, sometimes living alone can get, lonely. Many seniors don’t require live-in care for daily living but still need companionship. A simple solution that combats loneliness is pet therapy. 

Did you know interacting with dogs and cats has many psychological and physiological benefits? Pet therapy is a service where volunteers bring their dog or cat for a period of time. This way, seniors can receive the benefits of fluffy friends without worrying about their care and maintenance. 

Health Benefits

For many people, pet therapy leads to improved cardiovascular health as well as diminished physical pain. Studies have shown that people have lower blood pressure when petting dogs. Pet therapy also helps people relax and can reduce the amount of medication some folks need.

Emotional Benefits

Interacting with a pet boosts serotonin and dopamine in the brain which has a calming effect on the body. This also lifts spirits and lessens depression. People who participate in pet therapy tend to feel less lonely and isolated. The dogs provide comfort and engagement while the handlers are someone to talk to.

Local Pet Therapy Services

There are local services in Hunterdon, Somerset, and Mercer counties in New Jersey. Some services will bring their well-trained pet into your home upon request while others go to facilities or host events in the community. 

  • Creature Comfort Pet Therapy offers comfort and companionship through animal-assisted activities in Somerset and nearby counties. 
  • The Bright and Beautiful Therapy Dogs is a nonprofit organization that trains qualified owners and their dogs as therapy dog teams. They offer services throughout New Jersey and surrounding states.
  • PAWS for People offers many community events as well as special one-on-one therapeutic visits by certified therapy companions. 

Did you learn anything new from this article? Share with your friends so they can learn about the benefits of pet therapy.

If you or a loved one needs hourly or live-in support, call 908-788-9390 for an appointment to discuss your plans for aging-in-place.

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