There is a pre-existing human-animal bond involved with pet therapy. People are happier and healthier when they are in the presence of animals. It is scientifically proven that the human-animal bond increases positivity and socialization, decreases blood pressure, and reduces anxiety, stress, and depression.
Due to these amazing benefits, several skilled nursing facilities across the nation now offer or allow pet therapy for therapeutic purposes. Pet therapy is used to support health and healing for seniors of all ages with various health conditions.
What is Pet Therapy?
Pet therapy is a controlled interaction between a trained animal and a human being, also involving the animal’s handler. The objective of pet therapy is to assist someone in coping with or recovering from a health problem or mental disorder. Not only can pet therapy reduce blood pressure and improve overall cardiovascular health; it can also release endorphins that reduce stress, alleviate pain, and improve your psychological state.
The Science Behind the Human-Animal Bond
Positive human-animal interaction coincides with changes in physiological variables for both the human and the animal. This interaction appears to impact heart rate, blood pressure levels, and hormones correlated with well-being such as oxytocin. Oxytocin is a neuropeptide known for its function in bonding, stress relief, and socialization. Studies show that human-animal interaction increases levels of oxytocin in the brain. The physiological changes caused by oxytocin include a slower heart rate with relaxed breathing, lower blood pressure, and creating a sense of calmness, focus, and comfort.
Human-animal interaction, as demonstrated by scientific research, is linked with healthy aging. Research shows that there is a strong association between deep attachment to a pet and less depression among elderly people. Human-animal interaction could reduce loneliness in residents of care facilities. One study shows that individuals who were visited by dogs reported less tension, fatigue, confusion, and depression.
How Pet Therapy Benefits Your Patients
For those who suffer Alzheimer’s and other related diseases, research demonstrates that human-animal interaction can play an important role in improving the quality of life for the patient as well as the caregiver(s) responsible. Trained therapy dogs can assist those with Alzheimer’s in daily tasks such as fetching newspapers, slippers, and even medication. Therapy dogs can also reduce the agitated behaviors and improve the social interactions of patients with dementia. Animal-assisted therapy also benefits caregivers by reducing their physiological stress.
The benefits of pet therapy are apparent through their positive impact in both mental and physical health. For example, a simple act of petting delivers an automatic relaxation response that stimulates the release of serotonin, prolactin, and oxytocin. These hormones play a vital role in the uplifting of one’s mood. Pets can offer comfort and decrease loneliness and depression by providing companionship as well as a pleasant focus for attention.
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The health care or medical information provided on 1Heart Caregiver Services is, at best, of a general nature and cannot replace the advise of a health care/medical professional. 1Heart Caregiver Services will not take responsibility for the results or consequences in attempting to use or adopt any information presented in its blog article
Belina Calderon-Nernberg is the CEO and founder of a group of successful companies – 1Heart Caregiver Services, LA Jobs Employment Agency Inc. and Summit Medical Billing Solutions, Inc.
As the CEO of 1Heart Caregiver Services, one of the fastest growing in-home care service companies in California, Belina has been responsible for the company’s increased productivity and consistent profitability for more than 12 years. Belina provided the vision, leadership, and direction that the company needed to achieve its short-term and long-term goals. As her greatest accomplishment, the company is now equipped with the expertise to expand its business operations to different States in the U.S.
Belina brings with her a corporate experience of 23 years, with 13 solid years of experience as CEO of an employment agency and a senior care service company in Southern California. Belina’s principle-centered leadership and strength in her ability to combine corporate talents pave the way for the company to achieve greater heights.
Belina has a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from the University of St. La Salle, Philippines. In 2013, she was honored with the Los Angeles IMAGE AWARDS – an award given to emerging leaders in business, community service, arts and entertainment.
In June 2014, she was also awarded the title of Ambassador of Goodwill by the HiFi (Historic Filipinotown) Neighborhood Council. This title is bestowed to carefully selected Filipino-Americans who are persons of integrity who have the ability “to promote, reach out, influence and mobilize public interest and support of the ideals, values, principles and programs of the Historic Filipinotown.” In December 2015, she was also the recipient of the TOPLA (The Outstanding Pilipinos in Los Angeles) Award for Leadership Excellence in Human Resources.
1Heart Caregiver Services is a certified member of CAHSAH and has been featured in Asian newspapers and other media publications all over the United States like Yahoo! News, Google, TV, radio and newspaper online due to its various accomplishments, corporate programs, and contribution to the senior care industry. Belina’s vision remains solid and strategic as the company moves forward in its goal of making a positive difference in the home care industry.
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