The use of pet therapy in health care is a definite growing trend. In fact, animal-assisted therapy is an acceptable treatment that is now being considered for chronic health problems, according to a recent article by the Mayo Clinic staff.
Although pet therapy is a broadly used term among health care professionals, it helps people recover from or better cope with an array of health problems, from heart disease and cancer, to mental health disorders.
The Mayo Clinic article further notes that animal-assisted therapy can also significantly reduce pain, anxiety, depression, and fatigue in people with a range of health problems. The following animal-assisted therapies are used consistently to promote recovery and wellness:
- People with cardiovascular diseases
- People in long-term care facilities
- People with dementia
- Veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder
- People with anxiety
Increasingly, registered therapy dogs and their handlers are part of treatment in hospitals that offer individuals a caring canine program. Therapy dogs can also make regular visits to various hospital departments and help reduce the stress and anxiety that can accompany hospital visits. These benefits extend to family members and friends who sit in on animal visits. The article notes that pet therapy is also being used in non-medical settings, such as universities and community programs, to help people deal with anxiety and stress.
For residence of the Brookhouse Home, the general purpose of pet therapy is to provide simple comfort and enjoyment to residents. We welcome visits from comfort care dogs and consider it an important part of senior wellness. In fact, we are looking forward to comforting dog Lydia’s next visit this month.