Animal therapy is beneficial at any age, but seniors may experience additional benefits, especially those living in a senior living community.
Part of our strategy at Fieldstone Communities is to implement programs that provide not only health benefits but also emotional benefits. Animal-assisted therapy allows our residents to experience the benefits of animal interaction in a safe and sociable environment.
Numerous studies have proven the benefits of animal interaction and companionship, including that as little as fifteen minutes of bonding time with an animal promotes positive hormonal shifts in the brain. For this reason, many organizations have been created to connect seniors with four-legged friends, including Pets for the Elderly.
Aside from the smiles that animals bring to our residents’ faces, some of the benefits of animal therapy for seniors include:
Mental Health Benefits
- Naturally boosts mood
- Increases energy levels
- Mental stimulation: Animal interaction allows seniors to tap into memories of their childhood or a family pet
- Decreases feelings of loneliness and isolation
- Encourages communication
- Increases socialization
- Increases self-esteem: The enjoyment animals demonstrate from the interaction improve our opinion of ourselves
- Creates a sense of gentleness and caring
- Provides a sense of comfort and increases comfort levels when visiting with family or friends who have pets
- Reduces risk of depression
- Provides stress relief and calms feelings of anxiety: Especially beneficial for seniors dealing with an illness or the passing of a spouse/loved one
- Heart health: Animal therapy has been proven to lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels which reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease
- Improves recovery time for those overcoming a medical issue or surgical procedure
In addition to an animal therapy program, our senior living communities provide a variety of social activities, fitness classes and support groups to our residents, as well as events for their family members and friends to attend. We encourage you to schedule a tour at one of our communities throughout Washington and Oregon to learn more about the Life Enrichment programs we offer