Pet Therapy reduces stress and lowers blood pressure for seniors receiving in-home care.
Posted Dec 02 2009 12:10pm
Researchers have documented the physiological effect pet therapy can have on humans.
The Power of Pets
Therapy animals are more than just fun; they can produce actual health benefits. Seniors receiving in-home care in NJ are the perfect people to greatly benefit from this service. In one study conducted by Drs. Aaron Katcher and Alan Beck at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine, subjects had their blood pressure taken when they spoke to a researcher. When a therapy dog was introduced into the room and the subjects petted or spoke to the animal as they chatted with the researcher, their blood pressure dropped.
There have been numerous studies that show pet owners require fewer visits to the doctors, have less depression, take longer walks and live longer. In our home care services in NJ, we have seen seniors with Alzheimer’s, dementia, high blood pressure and depression all benefit from these services.
Why would pets produce these results? The theory is that the animals reduce stress levels and loneliness and, bring people out of themselves. People can become more social when they are in the presence of animals. A researcher reviewed 25 studies that examined the effects pets had on nursing home patients and discovered they were more alert and smiled more when the animals were there; patients who were physically aggressive calmed down and allowed people to be near them.
Bottom line, pet therapy can be very beneficial to seniors who love animals. Assisted Living At Home focuses on enriching the lives of their clients by utilizing pet therapy services to make their lives more enjoyable and improve their health.