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Health & Wellness

Pet Ownership Improves Senior Citizens' Quality of Life

September 14, 2016
pet therapy, animal therapy, therapy dog, pets for seniors, senior care, service dog, service animal

At Warren Center, we have an entire therapy dog program and our residents adore them.

Ask any pet owner and they will tell you that a pet is more than just an animal that lives in your house. A pet is a cherished family member. And for senior citizens, especially those that have physical or mental disabilities, pets can be a lifesaver, specifically dogs. We would be remiss to talk about the benefits of pet ownership if we failed to mention the hard work service dogs carry out for their owners.

            Service dogs have assisted those with disabilities for years. We’ve all seen guide dogs walking with blind people before. But there are other types of service dogs specially trained for who have trouble with movement and balance, which make them perfect companions for some senior citizens that need assistance with their mobility.

Mobility assistance service dogs help their owners in so many different ways, from bringing medication to their owner to providing balance assistance when climbing stairs or standing up. They can also provide protection if the owner suffers from seizures. These highly trained dogs become integral for the disabled person to carry out their daily living activities. But what about seniors that aren’t disabled; how can they benefit from having a dog or any other pet? 

            Pets can provide emotional support, especially for seniors that are going through empty nest syndrome. Dogs and other pets live in the moment; they never worry about what could happen to them in the future. For an older person who is worried about their future, a pet’s carefree attitude can ease those worries and reassure the owner that the future isn’t as scary as it may seem.

            For elder orphans, senior citizens that don’t have any next of kin or caregiver and live alone, having a pet can drastically reduce their sense of loneliness as well as decrease the likelihood of getting depression. Pets can also help reduce stress, lower blood pressure, and in some instances, help owners recall some lost memories they have otherwise forgotten. It’s a win-win for the owner and the pet, especially if the senior adopts a pet from the shelter and can provide the pet a loving home.

At Centers Health Care, we welcome furry family members at each of our facilities. Learn more about our facilities at http://centershealthcare.com/locations

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