Growing older is a natural progression. Over time things may have changed, and how you live your life might look slightly different from once. Thankfully the modern age we live in has created many opportunities to improve our lives as we age. While this could come in the form of home assistive devices or material things, it can also come in the form of therapies. Traditional physical, emotional, and mental therapies are all still in practice, but there have been some emerging new therapies in this age of new research, especially for aging adults.
From pets at home to a stop at the local animal adoption center, it is no secret that animals significantly impact our emotions. Cuddling up next to a dog or petting a cat can bring an immense amount of joy and comfort, especially during trying times. That is one reason researchers set out to discover what else animals can do when they work with humans. Therapy animals are specifically trained to provide the right resources and temperament when working, referred to as animal-assisted therapy. Studies have shown a positive correlation between adding animals into a therapeutic session and impacting physical and mental health.
The major researched topic when it comes to human-animal interaction is the effects on cardiovascular health. Pet ownership and therapy where animals are introduced can lower the risk of high blood pressure and heart rate and lessen mental stress. With the help of animals and pet's depression as well as anxiety have seen a significant decrease when it comes to therapy for aging adults. With this type of therapy, older individuals who have experienced the feeling of loneliness can be positively impacted. Finally, work with animals has seen a positive correlation of physical activity between the people who worked with animals and those who did not. One study even found that those in the later years of their life had less deterioration in their ability to do everyday activities when they walked with an animal. The power of animal therapy goes even beyond the mentioned above; with a little more research in the future, we will see how much it could improve the quality of life for many aging adults.
This form of therapy is used to benefit people of all ages and older individuals living with decreased capabilities due to age. Music classes and wellness groups can do wonders to build up musical abilities and socialization in older populations. With today's extensive research, therapists have more opportunities to bring this type of therapy into daily practice. Music taps into a part in the brain everyday speech do not, so this can be very effective for those living with memory loss. From the Older American Act of 1992, services provided by music therapists can accomplish restoration, improvement, or maintenance for all things from social, emotional, mental, and physical functioning in older adults.
Those who have been impacted by Alzheimer's disease or dementia and have struggled with the loss of speech can sometimes have the ability to sing their favorite songs or repeat lyrics. Not only can music bring back some memories, but it also can be helpful to maintain memory and some cognitive function. There are several options to participate in, like reality orientation and sensory training that apply music. These programs are used to ground people in reality and help them gain actuality of their active environment. Music therapy can also bring about social aspects. Music can increase bonding with other individuals and bring a sense of self-expression. Music therapy is a great way to foster healthy mental aging and help make a difference when different aspects of your life change as you age.
Specialized therapies, of course, do not replace regular visits to the doctor or deeper chats with your medical professional. But, looking at things a little differently, thinking outside of the box when it comes to your health, and supplementing activities can all make a difference in your healthy aging. Always contact your doctor before beginning any health regime to make sure it aligns with your health plan. When it comes to how you move on the stairs, though, make sure you are staying safe. You can increase your mobility and a sense of safety with the help of a stairlift. Allow yourself a greater understanding of independence in your home, and additionally improve your wellbeing just like the help of unique therapies. If you would like more information on what a stairlift can do for you, check out our other blogs. To get set up with a no-obligation-free quote, visit our contact form, fill it out, and we will reach out to you as soon as we can.
Gee, Nancy R, et al. “Human-Animal Interaction and Older Adults: An Overview.” Frontiers in Psychology, Frontiers Media S.A., 21 Aug. 2017, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5573436/.
Guy, Judy. “Music Therapy & Older Adults Fact Sheet.” The Music Therapy Center, www.themusictherapycenter.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/mtcca_olderadults.pdf.