Dogs never cease to amaze us with their ability to bring joy and comfort into our lives. Because of their compassion and intelligence, they are used for a wide range of tasks such as search and rescue, seeing-eye companions, handicap helpers, and even cancer and epilepsy detection. Dogs make a big difference when used to provide home care services.
Therapy dogs are well trained and offer tremendous benefits to aging seniors. Here are some of the benefits your loved one can experience with a therapy dog:
- Promote Calmness
It has been proven that therapy dogs help lower blood pressure and stress levels. They are great for reducing agitation and anxiety, especially in Alzheimer’s patients.
- Boosts Morale
Interaction with therapy dogs is a great way to boost morale as it often brings back happy memories. It helps a person with health ailments to forget about their troubles and feel a sense of normalcy and enjoyment.
- Pain Relief
Studies have shown that the endorphins that are released when stroking a dog have the potential to block pain. These endorphins also create a feeling of happiness.
- Social Stimulation
Seniors tend to be more social with others when they regularly interact with dogs. Watching and playing with therapy dogs provides a joyful topic to talk about with their family, friends, or neighbors.
- Promotes Physical Activity
Depending upon their level of mobility, a dog could provide good motivation for seniors to be active. They may be able to take the dog for a walk or engage in acts of play.
Many seniors get into the same repetitive routine on a daily basis. A therapy dog provides excitement and enjoyment allowing seniors to vary their everyday tasks from time to time. For seniors who live along, a therapy dog visit can ease the feeling of loneliness and isolation.
Therapy dogs go through extension training and desensitization that will help them acclimate to conditions that may occur in a home. Some of these home situations include wheelchairs, walkers, motorized beds, crutches, and canes. They are trained to become desensitized to unpredictable grabbing and vocal outbursts. Therapy dogs are friendly, able to follow commands, understand the importance of not barking or pulling on their leash.
Therapy dogs are used in nursing facilities, assisted living, and also make house calls to seniors who are living at home. Even though your loved one may not be able to care for a dog on their own, they can still benefit from their companionship with regular visits.
If you or someone you know needs help with home care services in Lowell, MI contact the caregivers at Gauthier Family Home Care. We provide quality and affordable home care for many disabled and elderly loved ones in our community. Call us at (616) 658-2300 for more information.
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