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How Pets can Benefit Elderly and Depressed Patients

Pets, especially dogs and cats, can have a positive impact on the health of seniors, hospital patients, and people who suffer from emotional stress. The presence of a pet can help reduce emotional and physical stress in patients.

For the lonely, elderly, and others suffering depression or emotional pain, animals can provide some comfort and relief. Pets like dogs and cats can have a powerful impact on certain conditions with their soothing presence.

Providing Companionship

Animals provide vital companionship and a sense of connection for people suffering from shut-in conditions or emotional pain. Addicts and depression sufferers sometimes confess that the reason they remain alive is the presence of a pet who loves and depends on them.

Nursing home and care facility patients often feel their day is brightened by the presence of a dog or cat. Trained service animals bring smiles to the faces of lonely residents and draw reclusive patients from their shells.

Benefiting Health

Touching or stroking an animal can have a significant impact on a patient’s health. Petting an animal has been known to lower blood pressure as patients enjoy the soothing presence of an animal curled on their lap or sitting beside them.

Patients suffering arthritis in their hands can feel a slight improvement in joint and muscle pain when stroking an animal. The slow, calming action and animal’s pleasant response can help sooth muscle pain and stiff limbs.

The benefits of animals for patients suffering physical and emotional distress are an important part of recovery. Emotional  and physical benefits of cats and dogs deserve recognition and applause.

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  1. EXCELLENT! I wish all landlords who do not allow pets would read this. I have an old dog who is the joy of my life. ‘We are growing old together, and I could not do without her. She is like a child to me. I have had so much trouble finding an affordable apartment that would allow me to keep her.
    Would landlords put their children to sleep in order to rent an apartment?????

  2. I meant to add. Those landlords who DO allow small pet, charge outrageous extra fees to have a pet. They can not deny people with children from renting, and they don’t charge extra fees for children, so why do they charge for pets? It is nothing but control and GREED! You said it so well, how pets can make a big difference in the lives of the elderly and the ill. I hope that in time people who don’t understand the importance of having a pet for the elderly, will WAKE UP and show a little compassion.

  3. I recently read an article from the Honolulu Advertiser one day, about, the similar kind of care from animals by, Tails of Aloha—www.tailsofaloha.com email info@tailsofaloha.com for more information and donations. They help the elderly, homeless, and sick too! Amazing and how kind too. The animals are not o only pets, they can be life saving friends. I myself love pets especially, cats and dogs. Life just isn’t complete without them!

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