The benefits of animals and pets
Interacting with animals can often improve the health and wellbeing of the elderly. Stroking a dog can release a hormone called oxytocin, linked to anxiety relief, helping to improve mood. It is also thought to reduce the level of stress-related hormones in the blood, as well as being a great way to give and receive love; especially helping those who lack regular social interaction.
Caring for something such as a pet, also provides structure to the day which can help provide purpose and self-worth as well as help with feelings of loneliness.
Jane Fossey, a clinical psychologist and trustee of the Society for Companion Animal Studies (SCAS) stated, “spending time with visiting animals has been shown to reduce blood pressure and anxiety, improving social interaction and sleeping patterns. It can also reduce the late-afternoon restlessness that can affect people with Dementia.”
Many of our residents enjoy frequent visits from animals as part of their lifestyle activities.
To find out more contact your local Estia Health home.