If you’re a senior and you’re wondering how emotional support dogs can help you, then you’ve come to the right place! An emotional support dog presents many health benefits to their owners. Did you know that simply being with a dog can help you cope with isolation, loneliness, and depression! A dog can be a great source of friendship and companionship for people who’ve lost their spouse, or who are facing difficult times like financial struggles or who’ve been through a major life event. For these reasons, dogs are being utilized for support purposes for seniors. Emotional support dogs are used to promote happiness and health in seniors of any age range or health condition. Whether seniors are depressed, chronically ill or have ongoing disabilities, an emotional support dog is the best treatment around.
Emotional Support Animals for Seniors – Mental Health
Did you know that just spending fifteen minutes bonding with an animal can promote hormonal changes within the brain? Well, your stress levels drop mainly because your brain produces serotonin along with prolactin and oxytocin. All of these chemicals are the reason why you feel happier and calmer when you’re with an emotional support animal. This is why support dogs are good companions for seniors because they offer so many amazing mental health benefits!
Seniors suffer from depression usually as a result of loneliness or isolation, either because friends and family members cannot visit on a regular basis, or they aren’t as active as they previously were. Perhaps a loving spouse has passed away. Contact with supportive animals can bring some withdrawn seniors out of their shells, making them happier and more communicative. Studies show that seniors who are active and always around others, or who own a pet, decline in health far less rapidly than isolated or depressed seniors.
Dogs are also a source of mental stimulation. Whether reading about breeds and pet care or talking to others about dogs, elderly minds can benefit. Dogs can help relieve the stresses of people with dementia or Alzheimer’s. Dementia patients experience bouts of agitation, and dogs can help calm them down. Interacting with a dog can stimulate the appetite of people who might otherwise not eat regularly as a result of these conditions.
Emotional Support Animals for Seniors – Physical Health
Recently, the American Heart Association did a study on this and they found that pets do lower your chances of getting heart disease! Simply by walking with a dog along the neighborhood sideway provides so much physical exercise, which leads to improved mobility and a healthier lifestyle overall. Petting a dog can help work out arthritic hands and arms. Dogs provide emotional stability during stressful situations, helping to reduce anxiety and depression. Also, by being near your dog, you will have a gradual reduction in your levels of cortisol, a stress hormone. Also, dogs tend to be able to detect when someone is sad or frightened and if they need to be comforted.
Emotional Support Animals for Seniors – Final Say
Ultimately, having a dog in a senior’s life can help improve their overall well-being and give their life purpose. Because of the numerous health benefits support dogs provide, many assisted living facilities are allowing therapy dogs, therapy pets, service dogs, service animals, and even ESAs. So just by being around a dog, anyone can feel better, healthier, and happier!