Sometimes, happiness is just a lick away… dogs, or pet animals in general, have brought so much joy and positivity to our lives.
All fluffy things aside (pun intended), have you ever thought of the following questions:
- What exactly are the benefits of animal therapy in aged care?
- Just because we change our living circumstances, does that mean we don’t need our companion animals?
- Should pet owners, upon admission into aged care, be forced to give up their fluffy companions?
- And would this result in a negative effect on our mental and physical wellbeing?
Research has revealed many benefits to pet therapy; some of which may include decreased blood pressure and stress, improved communication, and reminiscence. Pets can motivate and encourage all of us to stay healthy and exercise, they also may give us a feeling of being needed. Preliminary results from a study show that a few minutes of stroking our pet dog prompts a release of a number of “feel good” hormones in humans.
The value of pets for people with chronic mental illnesses and physical disabilities is well documented. Many studies have also found positive links between pets, health and ageing, include improved wellbeing, companionship, a sense of purpose, increased social interaction, physical activity and independence.
For those who have had pets their whole life, being forced to give up their beloved fluffy buddy upon admission into aged care would do more harm than good.
From an economic perspective, happy residents may mean facilities would spend less on pharmaceutical and medical expenses! These savings can then be reattributed towards other meaningful investments for example staff training and animal therapy initiatives.
The fluff is strong with this one, and may the fluff be with you…