Many seniors are unable to enjoy social interaction, engagement, and activities with others due to the mobility limitations, health issues, or low energy they face. Over time, social isolation may lead to depression, loneliness, and poor mental and physical health. Animals can provide a source of companionship and emotional support for seniors. Caring for and living with pets has been proven to have numerous benefits for seniors. Some benefits include improved health, reduced stress, and a better lifestyle. Pets are also a good influence in our lives and have an excellent ability to adapt to our feelings and lifestyle. Pets are also emotional creatures and able to understand our emotions. Here are some of the benefits of adopting pets for seniors.
Improved Mood And Health
Pets help to improve mood and health and their effectiveness in doing so is one of the reasons why pet therapy is widely used to help individuals and seniors deal with various mental health issues, from depression to cognitive decline such as dementia. Studies also show that petting an animal decreases the level of the stress hormone in our bodies, results in lower blood pressure and heart rate, and an improved mood.
This decreases the risk of cardiovascular disease and seniors will feel more relaxed, calm, and happier. This is also important for their holistic well-being and emotional health. The physical benefits of having pets are also not to be underestimated as seniors are more likely to go out and exercise with their pets or bring their pets for a walk. This increases the frequency of physical activity, which leads to better muscles and improved physical health.
Studies have also shown that seniors with pets need lesser visits to the doctor, which underscores the relationships pets have with seniors’ health. Pets also provide opportunities for seniors to increase socialization and interaction with others such as seniors bringing their dogs to a dog park and interacting and making new friends with other like-minded dog owners.
Pets also provide companionship and give seniors, especially those who live alone a source of conversation, affection, and activity. The act of caring for an animal makes seniors feel responsible, needed, and a sense of purpose. This also improves seniors’ emotional and mental health as they eliminate feelings of helplessness or worthlessness and know that they are loved unconditionally by their pets.
Better Life Schedule
Many pets require regular feeding, exercise, and a grooming routine. Seniors may thus find themselves required to adjust their schedules and lifestyle to accommodate the needs of their pets. This brings about benefits as you can incorporate numerous aspects of your life together with taking care of your pet. For example, bringing your dog out for a walk can also be a form of exercise for you.
Because of pets, seniors may feel more motivated to exercise with them and may engage in social or physical activities that they would not have done without their pets. This disruption may be beneficial and necessary for seniors so that they get out more often and be more socially and physically active. While caring for a pet also has its challenges, the benefits of caring for a pet far outweigh them and you will find your life schedule to be more fulfilling and happier.