13 Mar The Benefits of Dogs for the Elderly
Psychological Articles:Resolving Elderly Problems with Dogs
The human-dog connection is a centuries old bond. There’s nothing like a sweet, attentive, loving dog to make you forget about day to day stresses as well as life’s major traumatic events. Psychological articles affirm that having contact with a responsive animal can do wonders for our physical and emotional well being.
Numerouspsychological articles have reported that as we age contact between people and their dogs can have even more beneficial effects; especially in resolving the elderly problem of loneliness. Too often, the elderly tend to lead isolated lives, and having a four legged, loving companion can provide a sense of purpose, fulfillment, and constancy that can help shield against the elderly problem of depression. Psychological articles have observed that dog owning aging baby boomers and seniors cope with daily activities better than their non-pet-owning friends.
Feel Good Effect
Psychological articles have stated that walking your dog and other routine caring tasks helps resolve the elderly problems of getting much needed exercise as well as alleviating loneliness and satisfying the craving for companionship. Simply playing with your dog raises both serotonin and dopamine levels-the brain nerve transmitters known to give calming and increased pleasurable sensations. Just think about this. People take heroin and cocaine to attempt to stimulate brain serotonin and dopamine levels, and this “artificial drug induced high” can be healthily achieved by getting a pet dog!
Studies indicate that Alzheimer’s patients show lower stress levels and fewer anxious outbursts if there is a dog in the household. According to psychological articles, the mere presence of a dog can ease the effects of the disease.
Hard as it is to admit, as a rule, the general public is not totally unbiased and empathic to AIDS patients. However, dogs are! They would give them the same unconditional and unbiased love that they would to a healthy owner. It is observed that AIDS patients who have dogs are far less likely to get depressed as compared to those without pets.
Psychological articles and research indicates that heart attack patients who own dogs have better chances of a speedy recovery than those without them. Dogs can feel the symptoms of a heart attack much quicker than any other animal. It is observed that dog owners have lower triglycerides and cholesterol levels. And as stated above, they also encourage the owners to exercise regularly as they need to be taken out for walks.
In a study conducted by the American Psychiatric Association, a trial therapy session was carried out which involved patients, a trained dog and its handler. The psychological article concluded that the patients who interacted with the trained dog exhibited significant improvements in mood and behavior such as reduction in anxiety levels and lessening of symptoms of dementia.
In a therapeutic program called ‘Project POOCH’, convicts volunteered to train homeless dogs with series behavioral problems. The aim was not only to train the dog but also to inculcate a sense of responsibility and accomplishment among the convicts doing the training. This project has been so successful for both the dogs and the convicts that it is being expanded with the hope that both dogs and convicts will benefit. The dogs are helping to make criminals more useful and functionally rehabilitated and once the dogs are trained, they are freed from shelters and possible death and provided with new, hopefully permanent homes.
Psychological articles show that throughout the world elderly people are being encouraged to keep dogs as the benefits of these friendly pets can not be denied. The benefits of owning a dog extend beyond companionship and pleasure, to the numerous physical and mental health benefits attainable with the help of these magnificent canines.
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