There is no denying that pets can make us feel happy, relaxed, loved and comforted. Research shows that pets, particularly for the elderly with dementia or similar illnesses, moods can lift when they have some valuable ‘pet therapy’.
When Nick recently visited his grandfather in an aged care facility he commented to his mother how he worried his grandad might be lonely living away from family and friends.
‘Do you think we could bring Rover into see Grandad?’ he asked his Mum. ‘I think he misses him.’
‘I don’t think dogs are allowed in here,’ his Mum replied.
‘Why don’t we ask?’ Nick suggested.
It only took a couple of phone calls to gain approval from the Vet with a ‘heath check’ on Rover and agreement for a trial run from the manager at the aged care facility. Soon after the weekly visits to the retirement village became a highlight of the week – not only for the residents but also for Nick, his mum and Rover.
Clearly it’s not possible for all residents in care facilities to own a pet. But a good option is to organise a pet dog to visit regularly.
Some supporters believe pets not only offer companionship, but may also offer the ability to boost health and well-being in the elderly.
For more details on pet therapy contact your favourite vet or visit https://www.agedcareguide.com.au/information/pet-therapy