The goal of pet therapy for those with Alzheimer’s disease, is to improve the patients social, emotional, and/or cognitive functioning. However, there are also many advantages for you, the caregiver, when it comes to pet therapy! A pets companionship, comfort and non-judgmental nature can be powerful therapeutic tools. Here are four examples of Pet Therapy for you, the primary caregiver!
- Pet Therapy with a dog– Having a canine present in the home will create a perfect out for you when you are stressed and may need some relief. You can take the dog for a walk around the neighborhood when you are feeling overwhelmed, you can play catch and get some fresh air, or even take the dog for a run on the beach for some exercise. Dogs give you many reasons to smile and are perfect for caregivers who are very active and want to maintain that role.
- Pet Therapy with a cat– Cats are the most easy-going, relaxed animals of all. They are perfect for the caregiver who wants a companion to take a nap with or cuddle up next to to watch a movie. Studies have shown that simply petting a cat that is purring can cause the human body to relax. Cats make great companions and can be a source of humor too. After all, laughter tends to do miraculous things to the human body.
- Pet Therapy with fish– Almost everyone has heard that simply watching a tank full of fish swimming can lower blood pressure. Many doctors and dentists use this approach to help calm their patients before stressful procedures. Sitting down and watching the movement of the fish in a tank is beyond therapeutic and will help relax you in the time of need. Fish require minimum care and don’t require 24/7 watch, therefore you are able to go about your daily routines at ease.
- Pet Therapy with a bird– Taking a moment to sit and listen to birds chirping, whether they are your own pet or wild, can be quite therapeutic. The sounds of nature are so calming you can actually change your entire state of mind. Having a place to listen and even talk to them is a beneficial way of “venting” when you need to and/or just relaxing your mind.
Each animal has their own strengths and we hope that you are able to pull that strength from them to help with your everyday routines. Overall, using Pet Therapy for you, as the primary caregiver, will help reduce agitation, offer an “out” when time alone is needed, help maintain exercise and proper eating, and most importantly make you smile! We hope you have a fabulous week ahead!