6 Ways in Which Pets Can Help Seniors Cope

Cute CatPets provide us with a unique companionship and lifelong friendship. They love us profoundly and enrich our lives beyond measure. Although love does not have an age limit, having an animal companion plays a crucial role in boosting health and happiness for seniors. In fact, researchers have found that seniors with pets live longer and happier lives. Still not persuaded to bring a pet into your senior’s home? Consider these facts:

  1. Pets Provide Daily Exercise

Pets can draw seniors out of their shell and engage them in mild exercise every day. Taking care of a pet involves walking and grooming it regularly, which includes physical activity. Such kinds of action promote better blood circulation and an increase in serotonin, dopamine, and happiness levels. Many seniors experience depression and lack of zest, but, when they’re in the presence of loving animals, they happily undertake activities which increase their mood and stamina.

  1. Pets Induce a Good Mood

Cuddling and stroking animals can effectively boost your senior’s mood. As animals are always affectionate and love the owner unconditionally, petting them feels good. A study at Uppsala University in Sweden presented surprising findings. It showed that a warm dog-human interaction secretes oxytocin in both humans and dogs. Oxytocin is a hormone that relieves anxiety, creating a happier state of mind.

  1. Pets Lower Chance of Heart Attack and Stroke

Having animals around an older person significantly reduces the chance of heart diseases. In a study involving 4,400 adults aged 30–75 years, where half of the study population owned a cat; it was observed that 3.4% died from a heart attack over ten years. In contrast, among the people who never had a cat, 5.8% died due to heart attacks.

  1. Pets Create Positive Social Interaction

Animal-assisted therapy is like a meet-and-greet opportunity for seniors. The pet becomes a means to reach out and connect with the rest of the world. When a senior takes their pet for a walk, a pet play group, or to the vet, they get to talk to others regarding their pets and the other person’s pet as well. People can easily relate to animals, which gets them talking to other adults more often.

  1. Pets Provide a Sense of Security

Many older adults have few people around them with whom to interact. Having a pet gives them a feeling of security and comfort. In a survey by Pets for The Elderly Foundation, it was found that 82% of seniors felt comforted by their pets when sad, while 95% of them benefited from speaking to their pets.

  1. Pets Give Humans a Sense of Purpose

Having a pet gives an older person many reasons to look forward to each day. The idea of sharing their lives and taking care of pets makes seniors feel useful and wanted. This in turn, gives rise to a strong sense of purpose. It essentially creates a more positive outlook on life.

Your beloved senior deserves a happy life; a loving pet can help! Additionally, home health care agencies, such as the Nurses’ Guild, can also provide a sound support system for your senior and their pet. The elderly, after all, deserve to be empowered and lead meaningful lives.


Source Links: