Emotional support animals have become an increasingly important part of the lives of many. From veterans returning from service to those suffering from emotional, physical, and mental stress, these animals provide invaluable services in helping their owners live fuller, more enjoyable lives.
More and more research is indicating the important role animals can play in helping those who are grieving. In fact, some believe that not only can these animals provide support and comfort, but bring about actual joy.
This is leading to an increase in funeral homes adding emotional support animals to their “staff.” At Fares J. Radel, Gus, our own emotional support dog has been providing comfort and joy to grieving families for years. Here are some of the reasons why these animals can bring their owners joy.
Animals Sense Sadness
Animals, especially certain breeds of dogs, are very adept at sensing emotional stress and grief. This is particularly valuable as they can do this without words, especially at a time when words can be difficult to come by.
They Can Serve as a Positive Distraction
At times, grief can be all-consuming. It can create a vacuum in a room. Introducing a well-trained, well-mannered emotional support animal into the space can provide a much-needed positive distraction. We’ve seen examples of some complete positive mood changes. This positive distraction can be priceless.
Emotional Support Animals May Promote Better Physical and Mental Health
ESA’s have been shown to increase dopamine and serotonin levels in those they come in contact with.
The increased serotonin and dopamine levels trigger a level of joy that may otherwise be absent. It activates oxytocin and can even lower blood pressure.
Owning an ESA Can Provide a Routine
A person struggling through grief can benefit from an emotional support animal in developing a routine. Animals require a level of care and can provide a routine for the owner. It also provides companionship. This can give a grieving person a renewed sense of purpose.
How Can One Qualify for an Emotional Support Animal?
Many already have emotional support animals at home that we call our pets. They are our cats and dogs and other animals that provide companionship and joy. Traveling with these animals, however, can be a challenge if they are not registered emotional support animals. A licensed therapist can provide an ESA-approved letter to get you started.
At Fares J. Radel Funeral Homes and Crematory, we have been a leader in our industry for almost a century and a half. From being one of the first in the country to utilize motorized vehicles for funerals to offering services at Cincinnati’s only privately owned crematorium, we look for services that provide comfort for the families we serve. We invite you to come over to meet Gus, our very own special ESA.