Most people know just how much joy their pets can bring to their lives. In addition to joy and happiness, owning a pet can provide other health benefits specifically for seniors. For elderly individuals who either live alone or in group settings and who may feel the tinge of loneliness during this time in their lives, pets can be a great benefit to their health.
There are many benefits of pet ownership for people of all ages, but here are some of the very unique benefits that seniors can enjoy with a feline friend or canine companion by their side.
Pets Provide Companionship
If there is one main perk of seniors having pets, it has to be companionship. There are so many seniors today who are struggling with issues related to loneliness, isolation and depression. It can be hard for seniors who have mobility issues, struggle with transportation, or who just don’t have many places to go to not feel alone in their homes. This is where pets can come in. Having a pet in the home can provide seniors with that feeling of companionship that they really crave. In fact, many studies support that pets can not only help seniors with feelings of loneliness, but they can help decrease chances of depression as well.
Pets Give a Sense of Purpose
There are many adults who find that once they are retired, and have grown kids, they feel a bit empty without a career or someone to care for. This can make it difficult for seniors to find a real sense of purpose in their lives. However, pets need their owners. They depend on their owners for companionship, love, food and exercise. A pet can give an elderly adult a real sense of purpose and help them create a routine that brings structure to their day.
Pets Provide Stress Relief
There have been several studies done on pets and stress relief and for seniors who may be struggling with stress and high blood pressure—a pet can be a great ally. Holding and petting animals actually has been proven to lower blood pressure. Plus, pets reduce stress and can have a calming effect on seniors. If seniors want an outlet to focus on, besides their own issues, then a pet can be a great outlet for their attention and a great way to forget about their own stressors.
Pets Can Be an Exercise Partner
Regular exercise can be an important asset to any senior. The older we get, the more important it is that you are able to get up, get moving and get some exercise and a little fresh air. Pets, especially dogs can be a great asset in this department. A dog that needs just a few minutes of walks per day can encourage seniors to get out, get moving, and get some exercise at a time in their lives when they need it the most.
If you are looking after a senior loved one who loves animals, then a companion pet may be a great asset for your loved one and their overall quality of life. Pets can really make all of the difference in your loved one’s overall quality of life as they enjoy their golden years with a faithful friend.