Social interaction makes seniors feel better and is vital for their physical and mental health. Older adults who do not interact with peers and loved ones are often susceptible to depression, anxiety, and dementia. ElderDog Canada Inc. started a campaign to connect seniors with elderly dogs in an attempt to boost their physical and mental wellbeing. Victoria senior home care professionals discuss a few important things to know about ElderDog and how senior pets can enhance your elderly loved one’s quality of life.
The Rise of Therapy Dogs
Sigmund Freud invited his clients to bring their dogs to their therapy sessions to stay calm. Pet therapy has become extremely popular during the last few years, and studies show how interacting with animals can provide a variety of health benefits. However, many seniors do not have the ability to care for younger dogs, which require both time and energy.
Seniors and Senior Dogs
ElderDog uses local branches of volunteers called PAWDs to help connect seniors with older dogs. These older dogs are often mellow, making them the perfect companions for seniors who have limited mobility. When the dogs have a vet appointment or need to be taken to the groomer, a volunteer will pick them up and drop them back. This way, seniors get to enjoy the many benefits of owning a dog without managing the errands.
Why Pet Therapy?
One of the reasons why pet therapy is beneficial for seniors is because it gives them a sense of structure during their day. Instead of sitting in a chair and remaining immobile for hours at a time, having a pet dog encourages a senior to stand up and move around. According to Ardra Cole, the founder of ElderDog, seniors who own these dogs often change their lives for the better and continue to care for their pets.
Having a pet helps boost cognitive health in aging adults with dementia. To learn more about mental health stimulation activities for seniors, call Home Care Assistance at (250) 592-4881. Our 24-hour caregivers in Victoria, BC, provide companionship, social stimulation, and assistance with daily activities to stave off depression, isolation, and dementia in seniors. We offer flexible and tailored care plans that include transportation and a variety of other services to make your loved one’s life easier and stress-free.