Did you know that pet therapy is a positive experience for nursing home patients? In fact, it’s a low-stimulation type of therapy that elderly patients tend to thrive from. In essence, pet therapy has a positive effect on the patient’s self- esteem. It also vastly increases both their physical and mental activity. The bottom line is that elderly patients, who live in nursing homes, can have the benefits of owning a pet, without the responsibilities of taking care of that pet. This is known as pet visitation therapy.

The vast majority of patients who live at a nursing home have lived in a productive and independent manner for most of their lives. Elderly patients lose that productivity and independence when they move to a nursing home. That can easily lead to the feeling of losing themselves. Many nursing home patients are also lonely. Pet therapy is known to ease those burdens. In essence, introducing pet therapy into an elderly patient’s routine provides them with a way to significantly reduce their loneliness.

When that happens, it shifts their focus into having a far more positive overall living experience. Pet therapy provides both distractaction to elderly nursing home patients. It has even been shown to reduce stress, blood pressure and even heart rate. Studies have also proven that pet therapy improves cognitive, emotional, physical, and social functions. Pet therapy also has a positive effect on nursing home patients who have dementia and or mental illness. For example, a few of the end results include an increase in cognition, the cultivation of social skills, and an improvement in self-care.

Pet therapy can also help with pain management since it takes the patient’ mind off of their problems while interacting with the animal or animals. Of course, the animals that are being utilized in the pet therapy program must be healthy with assurances from a veterinarian. They must also be well-trained and incredibly friendly. In addition, the pet handlers should also be trained and well familiar with the nursing home’s policies and procedures.

Pet therapy can also help elderly nursing home patients achieve significantly better spiritual fulfillment. For many elderly patients who live at a nursing home, pet therapy can make the difference between being motivated to get out of bed each day, or not.

Please contact us today for more information about our pet therapy program.

Matulaitis Rehabilitation and Skilled Care is the leading non-profit skilled nursing facility in Northeast Connecticut. We are proud to receive top national rankings and the highest five-star rating from Medicare’s Nursing Home Compare. Our dedicated staff combines renowned care and exceptional nursing skills with a holistic approach. We fully realize that the restoration of your health and well-being after an illness, operation, or injury can be incredibly difficult.

Our long term care features attention to the whole person, assuring individualized care for fullness of living, spiritual welfare, and providing a sense of community with enriching programming. We invite you to learn more about our special smoke-free facility as you consider your own or a loved one’s needs.