Benefits of Visits
What are the Benefits of Pet Visits?
It is well documented that the presence of pets is beneficial in improving the quality of life for socially-isolated residents of healthcare centers. Studies show that pet visits provide warmth and affection for everyone involved, laughter, recollection of pleasant memories, mental stimulation for Alzheimer’s patients, reduction in blood pressure, distraction from depression, lessening of tension and stress, reduction in incidence of heart attacks, increase in incidence of survival and speed of recovery from heart attacks, comfort during periods of grief, motivation for therapy following injury or surgery, and a bright spot in the day — just being there.
Dogs provide an uncomplicated, affection-on-demand relationship. They help break down the barriers among residents, staff, volunteers, and other visitors — by being non-judgmental, non-threatening, and emotionally safe, a dog’s unconditional affection can help bring care center residents out of their isolation and patients toward recovery.
For cat lovers, being able to stroke a cat, resting on a lap for only 5 minutes, can provide many of the above benefits.