Caregivers of elderly clients say that pets have a very positive therapeutic effect on seniors in their care. The pet pulls seniors who are withdrawn out of their shell, and provides mild cardio activity from walking or grooming. “Pet Therapy” provides a connection to and being needed in the world. The pet’s unconditional affection can help with loneliness in this stage of life.Ithas also been show to help with Alzheimer’s and Sundowner’s Syndrome, which causes confusion and disorientation after dark. This is the time when many dementia victims will wander. The pet can help to keep the senior connected and occupied.
Pets have also shown to improve appetite, social interaction, brain stimulation and tactile activity.
If owning a pet is not an option, talk with a doctor, physical therapist, or social worker about pet therapy programs available in your area. A well-trained and well-behaved dog will make a house call to cuddle, play and do tricks during a weekly session.