Pet therapy has been proven to be beneficial in helping seniors manage many different health conditions, and various studies have shown interaction with an animal companion can be especially beneficial for an older adult with Alzheimer’s disease. If your elderly loved one is living with Alzheimer’s, having a pet can provide him or her with companionship and a wealth of health benefits. Philadelphia, PA, Alzheimer’s care professionals discuss 4 of these advantages.
1. Slows the Progression of Memory Loss
Walking, feeding, and bathing a pet can help your loved one develop a regular schedule. During the early stages of Alzheimer’s, these types of activities can help preserve memory skills and keep your loved one’s life as normal as possible. The activities your loved one participates in with his or her pet may trigger memories from the past, and the constant care and socialization a pet needs can keep your loved one’s brain stimulated and active.
2. Reduces Stress and Prevents Hypertension
Alzheimer’s disease may cause your loved one to become stressed. The inability to remember who or where he or she is may lead to anxiety, which increases blood pressure. However, the companionship of pets helps seniors with Alzheimer’s relax and remain calm during moments of confusion. Simply being in the presence of a pet can help your loved one feel less agitated. When your loved one feels relaxed, his or her risk of high blood pressure, stroke, and heart disease is reduced.
3. Provides Reminders
Because seniors with Alzheimer’s sometimes forget to take their medications, training a dog to alert your loved one when it is time to take his or her pills can be extremely beneficial. This ensures your loved one takes prescriptions as ordered by his or her doctor, which could help him or her remain healthy and prevent other serious medical conditions.
4. Encourages Physical Activity
Seniors with Alzheimer’s rarely feel motivated to exercise or perform daily tasks, but it is important your loved one remains physically active so he or she can prevent heart disease, diabetes, and weakened muscles. Pet therapy is a great way for seniors living with Alzheimer’s disease to get some exercise by going on walks. A trained animal can guide your loved one to and from the home safely, or you or a Philadelphia, PA, home caregiver can accompany him or her on the walk. Your loved one can also get some exercise by tossing a ball or Frisbee around the yard with a pet.
In addition to pet therapy, there are many other approaches to Alzheimer’s care that have proven to be effective. At Home Care Assistance, we believe it’s crucial for seniors to engage in mentally stimulating activities, which is why we created the revolutionary Cognitive Therapeutics Method (CTM). This program, which is available at no additional charge with any of our senior care plans, was designed to help slow cognitive decline and delay the onset of dementia. To learn more about CTM and the home care Philadelphia families rely on, call (215) 645-4663 today.