Benefits of Animal-Assisted Therapy for Seniors with Mental Illness

Benefits of Animal-Assisted Therapy for Seniors with Mental Illness

By Brandon Butler

 fur & feathers

dog walking

Photo via Pixabay

There have been numerous studies centered on how keeping pets has mental and physical benefits for people, and most of these studies reveal that being a pet owner can truly help people stay healthy. A pet can also be a huge advantage in a home with a senior, particularly if the individual is suffering from a long-term mental condition. Animal-assisted therapy can work wonders for people with different health disorders, which is why it is becoming an increasingly popular trend in places like hospitals and assisted living facilities for the elderly. The following are some of the benefits of using pet therapy for senior people with mental illnesses:

  • Maintaining a daily routine

As most caregivers know, elderly people suffering from mental illnesses like dementia often have difficulties in performing their daily tasks. However, having a dog can change this as dogs require a regular schedule for feeding, exercising, and so on. Doing the same things with the pets every day, like walking your dog, can help seniors remember routines and thus adds structure to their lives, which keeps them calmer. This also boosts their self-esteem, trust, and mobility, making it easier to care for themselves. If, for some reason, a senior citizen can’t have a dog of their own, becoming a dog walker is a great option. Though it may not be best for those with dementia, for those with depression, dog walking will provide many of the same benefits that come with owning a dog while also boosting their income. Continue reading

German Pointer & Hose

German Pointer & Hose

 

Dogs Will Be Dogs 3

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Dogs Will Be Dogs – Baby labs born to Penny on July 18, 2016

lab puppy

Dogs Will Be Dogs 2

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Dogs Will Be Dogs – Jackson was named after Jackson Hole.  It’s no wonder he loves to hike.  Hiking is a great way to keep your dog active and fit.  It also helps wear them out for a bit when they’re active puppies.  Those of you that have active puppies know exactly what I’m talking about.

jackson hiking

Dogs Will Be Dogs

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Dogs Will Be Dogs – Gypsy in the morning watching sees me until she sees me peek.

Gypsy in the morning

Dog Will Be Dogs 2

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Dogs Will Be Dogs – Jenny had 10 puppy labs. They were born on July 18, 2016.  You can meet them this weekend at Kipona Festival on City Island.  They’ll be in the kissing booth!

lab

Dogs Will Be Dogs 1

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Dogs Will Be Dogs – Does anyone else have this issue upon returning from the grocery store?

GSPs looking for treats

Flying Dog

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FLYING DOG – This is Simba’s cousin, Jackson.  He lives in Utah.  He is one year old.

jackson the german shephard

RIP Lucky

RIP Lucky

lucky

My feline brother past this morning.  It was a very sad time.  My human sister was sitting on the floor crying.  She loved him very much.  They were together for 18 years.  Mum ran back and forth between Lucky and my human sister.  I wanted to help make her feel better but mum pushed me out of the way and hugged her tight with tears rolling down both their faces.  I dedicate this poem to my human sister.

SCN_0048When tomorrow starts without meLucky's favorite pillow

Don’t think we’re far apart

For every time you think of me

I’m right here inside your heart.

Unknown author

 

My human brother wrote his own poem too with the hope to help make her feel better.

Human brother with Lucky

Lucky Sir Lucky had quite a lucky life

Our arrival at the pet pick-up was greeted with delight

He came home with a family but first had a stop

At the hospital where Zoe was given a shot

Onward bound and onward home

Where many adventures await

He was never alone

For his companions stayed near

And then came a new friend

Who is it, let me see

And out of the gloom appeared Nala

Who Lucky hissed at to show that he was angry

Over time they grew close

Lucky biting Nala’s neck

Trying to get through her fur coat

With Nala rolling her eyes saying “what in the heck”

Lucky’s a traveler!

From coast to coast

He puts on his sunglasses

Grabs his martini and coat

Off on the plane, he went to live with pops

Decided Utah wasn’t his thing

And called a new shot

To return to the East

To finally defeat

His old friend, his old foe, the beast

Only when he arrived

A tear met his eye

Nala was not there

Nala was not in sight

But Lucky had Zoe!

The best of best friends

He’s been on the internet!

Through Snapchat with friends

Lucky and Zoe were pals

Hanging out every night

He grew skinny and meowed

But was happy and snuggled tight

Now Lucky has moved on

Oh what a life he has lived

He’s had the best friends and family

But never any kids!

Raise up a glass

Hold it strong and high

Cheers to YOU Lucky!

As you look down on us from the sky

Dog Speaks Before Baby

Dog Speaks Before Baby