Pets can help make the transition into the golden years smoother — many pet owners will attest to the positive impact their furry friends have on their lives. Explore some of the benefits of pets for seniors and see how getting your older relative a companion animal can help their quality of life.
1. Offers Companionship
One of the best benefits of pets is that they offer 24/7 companionship. Elderly individuals with pets are less lonely and feel less isolated. This companionship is precious if family members work or cannot see their older relatives often.
2. Improves Physical Health
Numerous studies back the physical benefits of pet ownership. Institutions like Harvard Medical School, the American Heart Association, Cleveland Clinic and the Journal of Mind and Medical Sciences all have research that shows pets’ impact on older individuals’ health. Researchers from these institutions have found seniors with pets can have:
- Lower blood pressure
- Reduced cholesterol and triglyceride levels
- Improved cardiovascular health
- Decreased stress levels
3. Impacts Mental Health
Psychotherapists have found getting pets for senior citizens helps alleviate symptoms of depression, anxiety and stress. The interaction and personality of pets bring joy, comfort and a feeling of shared experience that plays a significant role in the mental well-being of older adults.
4. Provides a Sense of Purpose
Older individuals feel a restored sense of purpose playing a caregiver and nurturing role. They are responsible for the pet’s well-being and care, which also helps establish self-esteem.
5. Offers Socializing Opportunities
Older relatives with a furry friend tend to socialize more. Whether taking a dog for a walk or watching their pet play outdoors, the older adult in your life can engage with other pet owners and have conversation points when family members or caregivers visit. These shared experiences and opportunities to socially engage offer a connection to the outside world.
6. Helps Establish Routine
Taking care of a pet helps seniors establish a routine. Routines provide security. The pets need feeding, attention, exercise and care. These activities structure an older adult’s day, like waking up at a consistent time every day, and tie back to establishing a sense of purpose.
7. Encourages Activity
Pets help seniors stay more mobile, whether it’s getting up to give their pet a treat, to throw a ball or toy, or to get up to snap their picture because of cute antics.
Contact Active Senior Care for a Caregiver Referral
Pets may not be suitable for all older adults. Still, many can appreciate the social, mental and physical benefits.
Active Senior Care is an AHCA Licensed Nurse Registry dedicated to referring reliable caregivers to help you care for your senior relatives. These South Florida caregivers offer a wide range of services, including companionship, personal care and helping seniors with pets. Contact us today to talk through your needs.