Benefits of Pets: Part III – Why Are More Doctors Now “Prescribing” Pets For Seniors?

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Again, for the seniors among our pet-owning community, these may be no surprise at all; but we at Critter Cabana would like to share these with those of you who may know someone who needs the “prescription.”

Aside from their own experience with senior patients, doctors can now draw on the results of several studies to bolster their recommendation of pets for the elderly; and here are the reasons why:

  • Elderly persons with pets tend to be more in touch with current events, and less likely to dwell on the past in their conversations, than those without pets.  They are also have an easier time embracing some of the limitations set by advancing age.

Even in non-pet-owning environments like nursing homes, research has shown that pets brought in through pet-visitation programs have positive effects on the senior residents.  They become more alert, smile and talk more with each other.

  • Pet-owning seniors, even those recently bereaved, suffer less depression and demand less medical care for mild illnesses, than non-pet-owners.

The same was observed among elderly residents in health centers, in the presence of visiting pet animals.

  • The cardiovascular benefits of pet-ownership are even clearer as the owners advance in age together with their pets, almost stress-free.

The lowered blood pressure, and reduced anxiety levels have been observed even among the seniors in no-pet health institutions, when pets are brought in to visit.

  • Senior pet-owners require less doctor visits than those without pets.

In the nursing homes where pet visitation has been introduced, pet visits are proving better than other therapies – whether it be arts and crafts or Psychotherapy.

Pat a pet each day, drive the doctor away?  Well, we can almost say that can’t we?  After all these research results?  But we at Critter Cabana aren’t doctors so we’ll leave that to the Health Care Professionals.

What the Critter Cabana family can do is give our senior pet-owners full pet-support, and help other seniors find the pet-companion for the golden years.

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