Animal-assisted therapy

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Working with the elderly and how to make your day together successful:

Animal-assisted therapy

We want to openly share with the family members of the elderly some ideas about the ways you can make your day successful. This time, in our section: Working with the elderly, we talk about the benefits of animal-assisted therapy.

Animal-assisted therapy (AAT) involves interaction between the elderly and animals, usually dogs, cats, or horses, in a supervised environment. AAT is beneficial for elderly individuals in many ways. Here are some of the benefits of animal-assisted therapy for elderly individuals:

  1. Improves socialization: Animal-assisted therapy can provide opportunities for socialization with animals and other people, which can help reduce feelings of loneliness and isolation in elderly individuals.
  2. Reduces stress and anxiety: Interacting with animals has been shown to reduce stress and anxiety in elderly individuals, improving overall mental health and well-being.
  3. Provides a sense of purpose: Caring for and interacting with animals can provide a sense of purpose and responsibility for elderly individuals, improving self-esteem and overall quality of life.
  4. Improves physical health: Animal-assisted therapy can also provide physical health benefits such as improved cardiovascular health and reduced blood pressure.
  5. Provides a positive distraction: Interacting with animals can be a positive distraction from pain, depression, or other negative emotions, which can improve mood and overall well-being.
  6. Increases cognitive function: Animal-assisted therapy can also improve cognitive function in elderly individuals by stimulating memory, attention, and problem-solving skills.

In summary, animal-assisted therapy can benefit elderly individuals, including improved socialization, reduced stress and anxiety, a sense of purpose, improved physical health, a positive distraction, and increased cognitive function.


Jussi Peltonen
Chair of the board
Hovi Care