Pet therapy is a relatively new treatment for seniors in assisted living situations. Generally, pets offer comfort and companionship to their owners while being a part of the family. Owning a pet can add new life to a senior, giving them a reason to keep active all while reducing stress and improving their general health. There are some guidelines you should be aware of before getting a pet for a senior, or having a senior interact with an animal, and how they can add a natural sense of nurturing to the person.
Pet therapy isn’t approved at all assisted living communities, but seniors can always reap the benefits of having an animal around. Approved handlers will either bring dogs, cats, or more recently, bunnies! Pets add an emotional bond that can really bring out the joy of a senior, as well as keeping them in positive spirits. Some seniors may feel comfort interacting with the animal, maybe talking to the handler about the pets they’ve owned of current pets, or just like the comfort of having an animal around. Owning a pet can add another dimension as the person can ultimately bond with the animal and give them a resolve to care for the animal.
If a loved one is currently in assisted living in Sacramento or if you are considering your options, pet therapy would be a great way to keep in a better mood and improve their overall health!