4 Benefits of Therapy Animals for Elders with Dementia - 24|7 Nursing Care

4 Benefits of Therapy Animals for Elders with Dementia

In recent articles, we have shared the many ways elders with dementia or Alzheimer’s can improve their overall well-being whether it is through daily exercise, eating well or routine check-ups. However, another key factor that can help your loved one with dementia is socialization. Usually, when we say ‘socialization’ we think it means we need to socialize with other people but that’s not quite the entire story. Recent studies have shown that interacting with therapy animals is an excellent way to improve the health of seniors in various ways. Get a Advantage Physiotherapy supporting your recovery now.

4 Benefits of Therapy Animals 

Animal Assisted Therapy is a technique that uses animals to interact with seniors to help improve their health and quality of life overall. While therapy dogs are the most common type of animal-assisted therapy, other animals include rabbits, cats, guinea pigs, and even pot-bellied pigs! Here are 4 benefits that these animals can provide: 

therapy animals

  1. Improved mood. – A study by BMC Psychiatry showed the notable benefits of having a therapy animal, such as a dog, rabbit, or bird, for those who suffer from dementia. These benefits included a decrease in anxiety and sadness and an increase in positive emotions and physical activity. 
  2. Increased physical activity. – Having a therapy animal for your loved one who suffers from dementia can improve their physical activity. Walking a dog provides much-needed physical exercise, which leads to improved mobility and a healthier lifestyle overall.
  3. Decreased behavioral problems. – In one study, researchers found that after bringing in a therapy dog, the resident’s challenging behavior decreased during the day. This was because the canine created a soothing and pleasurable environment for dementia patients. 
  4. Improved socialization. – Animals listen without judgment and give unconditional love and affection which can be beneficial to seniors with dementia who might feel the need to share stories or memories of their past that their friends and family might have already heard repeatedly. 

Having therapy animals in a senior’s life can provide them with a new sense of purpose and meaning. Due to the benefits found in having animal-assisted therapy or having a therapy pet around, many senior homes and facilities are now implementing therapy animal sessions regularly. Whether you suffer from dementia, Alzheimer’s, or any other kind of mental illness, therapy animals can help you feel better, happier, and healthier.

If your loved one is unable to own a therapy animal but requires companion care or regular nursing care, 24/7 Nursing Care has personalized in-home services tailored to satisfy your loved one’s needs. For those who suffer from dementia or Alzheimer’s, 24/7 Nursing Care offers customized care for those who struggle with this mental illness as well. All of our placement nurses and caregivers follow strict protocols to ensure your loved one is safe, healthy, and happy. We invite you to book a free consultation to discuss your specific need. We can be reached at (786) 518-3622 in Miami-Dade or (954) 949-1332 in Broward.