International Assistance Dog Week (2-8 August 2020) was so much fluffing fun. However. the spirit does not stop there, so let’s expand and unpack in more detail why pets are so important for aged care residents.
Getting older comes with many lifestyle changes. During these changing times, pets can provide a constant sense of comfort and company as they offer their companionship to their owners.
The transition from living in your own home to moving into an aged care facility often comes along with experiencing a sense of loss. This sense of loss is particularly prominent for former pet owners who are left feeling empty as they are expected to part with their fur baby, as they embark on a new chapter of their lives.
“Older pet owners have often told us how incredibly barren and lonely their lives were without their pets’ companionship”,said Linda Anderson from Angel Animals Network.
These adjustments to personal circumstances may also contribute to having a negative mood and feeling less connected and more isolated. These feelings can also be impacted by other factors however having a pet that remains constant in your life can be a good shoulder (or paws) to lean on during uncertainty. Similarly, pets can improve your mood by opening up the opportunity to socialise.
A study on the effectiveness of animal-assisted therapy measured wellbeing and mood in nursing home residents verified this sentiment. The group who had spent time with animals reported feeling ‘enthusiastic’, ‘interested’ and ‘inspired’ significantly more than those who did not spend time with pets.
Statistics in Australia show, that health improvements for seniors who own pets or participate in animal therapy, include lower blood pressure, lower cholesterol, and lowered stress levels.
So to fluff or not to fluff, is it even a question? Stay tuned for more coming from our fluffiest series . . . The Doggo Series.