Benefits of pet therapy
- Pet therapy has been proven to be an effective method of stress reduction, lowered blood pressure, and increased sense of well being in patients and staff.
- Care facilities that provide resident animals experience reduced mortality rates, a decline in the use of medication, and reduced nurse aid turnover. The animals provide an opportunity for the residents to feel needed as they assume responsibilities involved in feeding and caring for a variety of species.
- Residents report that loneliness, helplessness, and boredom have yielded to companionship, self-sufficiency and a sense of joy.
Arrange for a visit
Do you work at a care facility or know of a senior who could benefit from pet therapy visits?
Volunteer to help
Are you interested in providing pet therapy visits? Volunteer to take your pet or a shelter-cat on visits.
No special training is required, but pets must be well groomed, well behaved and must have current licensing and vaccinations.
Why does pet therapy work?
Pets provide a positive addition to the lives of care residents
Loneliness, helplessness, loss of self-esteem and boredom account for the bulk of suffering in a typical long-term care facility. We must be reminded of quality of life long-term care with regards to adaptation, adjustment, life satisfaction, morale, or social integration, with emphasis on making the best of a bad situation. Residents often experience a new found desire to participate in decision making, take control of their daily care, and gain self-esteem when they have plants, animals, and children in their daily lives. Pets provide one positive addition to the lives of care residents as they are able to develop a one-on-one relationship with the pet.
Lonely people need companionship, and animals are well known for soothing the ache of human loneliness. Human beings draw strength from the small pleasures of daily life, the joys that make life worth living. Companion animals can be an important part of life in a nursing facility. Their warmth and affection can change the daily life of an otherwise lonely person into one where they feel loved and needed.