Animal Therapy Boosts the Mood and Personality of the Elderly

by | Jul 9, 2016 | 0 comments

comparison-of-bull-dog-and-old-manIf you’re looking to brighten up your elderly loved one’s week, why not consider animal therapy?  This is a growing trend, and many assisted living environments allow for this.  If your loved one is suffering from slight dementia, or just confusion in general, a therapy dog can definitely help improve their emotional state, but more importantly interaction like this promotes good health too.  In fact, caregivers will love the fact that consistent animal therapy absolutely changes their loved ones’ life for the better! You’ll find that elderly patients have immediate joy when they come into contact with animals.  The joy this brings is what guarantees positive mental and physical health benefits.  Now, while this can’t cure a chronic condition, it can minimize symptoms and improve quality of life for an elderly person.  For instance, caregivers who expose their elderly loved ones to animal therapy might see:

  • There are less cases of depression and anxiety among those elderly who are exposed to animal companionship
  • Those with borderline hypertension can have healthier blood pressure levels in animal therapy
  • Patients who have had a heart attack have a longer life expectancy than those who don’t go through animal therapy
  • Therapy animals provide stress relief for the elderly and encourage socialization

If animal therapy does anything, it brings purpose and meaning back into an older person’s life.  This allows them to have something to look forward to, and it gives them something to talk about with others.  In other words, this form of therapy gets the elderly engaged and excited about life again!  What’s better than that?

There are some caregivers who decide to purchase a dog for their loved one for companionship, but let’s remember that this is a large commitment. The caregiver should be certain that their loved one can manage the responsibility of having a dog.  Now, if they can, it is the greatest gift a family member can do for their loved one.  A pet is a constant companion that can minimize social isolation among the elderly who live alone—so this is definitely a plus. We find is a great place to find more information about becoming a pet owner too.

Whether or not you choose to get a pet for your loved one, or you just involve them in an animal therapy program—you’ll be doing a great thing for your loved one!  If you’d like to learn some other ways you can improve the quality of care for your elderly loved one, visit us at and view our blog!  We strive to keep it chocked full of good stuff.


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