Pets can make a big difference in the lives of seniors by giving them company and helping them stay healthy. Whether it’s a playful dog, a cuddly cat, a chirping bird, or a small aquarium with colorful fish, pets bring joy, safety, and a better quality of life to seniors. With the help of home care assistance and loved ones, seniors can benefit from having pets while also having support in caring for them. Keep reading to learn how having a pet can be good for a senior’s health.
How Can Pets Benefit Seniors’ Health and Well-Being?
Pets can help with loneliness and depression: Pets love unconditionally and can help seniors feel less lonely and depressed. This is a critical issue for seniors who live alone.
Keeps Seniors Active
Having a pet helps seniors remain active, which is crucial for their health and well-being. It is suggested that seniors receive up to 30 minutes a day of physical activity. This is easily completed if the pet of choice is a dog, as seniors can walk with them a couple of times a day. Consistent activity helps seniors keep a healthy weight, build their muscles and joints, and increase mobility. Having home care assistance in the home can also help by walking with seniors and their pets.
Reduce Stress and Blood Pressure
Interacting with pets has been shown to lower blood pressure and stress levels. Petting a dog or cat increases endorphins and cortisol, which make people feel good and lowers their stress. These calming effects can be good for a senior’s mental and physical health, making them feel better and helping them relax.
Stimulate the Mind
Caring for a pet can increase mental stimulation. Having a pet and doing things with it, like training, grooming, and playing, can keep the mind busy and sharp. Pets also give seniors a sense of duty because they have to remember to feed them, take them to the vet, and take care of them in general. Seniors with home care assistance can receive support in their training efforts, which helps seniors feel confident in their actions.
Improve Mood and Mental Health
Pets bring joy, happiness, and laughter into seniors’ lives. Their funny antics, loving ways, and unconditional love can quickly lift their spirits and make them feel better overall.
Seniors with pets often find participating in social events and getting to know others easier. Pets can help people start talking to each other and find things they have in common. Owning a pet can help a senior meet more people, whether it’s through talking to other pet owners on walks or at the vet, going to community events related to pets, or joining online pet-focused groups.
It’s important to remember that while pets can be good for seniors’ health in many ways, they also come with responsibilities. Seniors should think about their physical abilities, how they live, and where they live before choosing to get a pet. Adopting a pet whose energy level and care needs match the senior’s is also important if the relationship between the senior and the pet is to be successful and pleasant. Loved ones can help pets with their choice and also create a plan for home care assistance where needed.