In adIf you’ve ever had a pet, you know how affectionate they can be. Stroking a cat or dog or simply watching them play can take your mind off your problems. And it can create a soothing feeling for many. If you have an elderly parent or relative, you’ll be interested in knowing that animals can actually improve their health and wellbeing. Furry companions can help seniors who have a variety of physical and mental health issues in several ways. If your loved one lives in a Boynton Beach assisted living facility, they probably won’t be able to keep a pet. However, they may be able to benefit from a pet therapy program.
Also known as animal-assisted therapy, pet therapy is a technique that provides interactions between animals and individuals. The animal may be a dog, cat, or even a farm animal that’s trained, well-socialized, and capable of interacting with individuals who may have limited mobility. Research shows that even fifteen minutes of interaction with an animal can reduce stress since it causes the brain to produce serotonin, oxytocin, and prolactin.
Put simply, spending time with animals makes people feel better and happier. If your parent still lives at home, consider gifting them a pet or finding another way for them to interact safely with animals. If they’ve moved into an assisted living center in Boynton Beach, be sure to ask about opportunities to interact with pets. Many senior care facilities include animal-assisted therapy because of all the benefits it offers.
Physical Benefits of Pet Therapy at a Boynton Beach Assisted Living Facility
Pets keep you physically active. Residents in assisted living facilities will have different levels of mobility, so therapy will be tailored to the individual needs of each person. The physical benefits can include:
- Pain relief
- Lower blood pressure
- Increased exercise
- Improved mobility and physical skills
Mental Benefits of Animal-Assisted Therapy
Pet therapy can be particularly helpful for seniors living with dementia or other types of cognitive impairment. Even individuals with good mental health may feel comfortable sharing their thoughts and feelings with a pet rather than a person. Spending time with animals can result in:
- Improved memory
- Increased mental stimulation
- Improved socialization
- A greater sense of meaning and purpose
- Calmer behavior
Emotional Benefits of Pet Therapy
In addition, pets also help to reduce anxiety and depression. And they can help seniors to cope with stressful situations. Interacting with animals can:
- Boosts self-esteem and confidence
- Improves social skills
- Improves the ability to show gentleness
- Reduces feelings of loneliness and isolation
Find Out About the Pet Therapy Program at a Boynton Beach Assisted Living Facility
If you’re trying to decide on an assisted living center in Boynton Beach and you’re intrigued by pet therapy, reach out to the professionals at Courtyard Gardens Senior Living. We offer a wide range of services to our residents including a pet therapy program. Contact us today to ask questions about our amenities. We can provide you with the answers you need to help you make a decision.