The Therapeutic Benefits of Pets for Seniors
Senior Care in Monroe, NJ
Research has proven that seniors who own pets generally have lower blood pressure, are more physically active, and increase their social interactions. When providing elder care, caregivers should consider carefully whether or not owning a pet is something their senior could benefit from.
Purchasing a new pet for a senior can help to mentally stimulate them to read more information on the particular breed. Mental stimulation becomes increasingly important as a person ages. Pets also provide a number of other benefits. For example, dogs, along with other pets, live their life in the here and now. They are not constantly worried about tomorrow, which can be extremely scary for elderly individuals. This sense of living in the present will rub off on the senior, helping them to be happier now and not worry about tomorrow.
While there are many benefits of elder care services, if they are not for 24/7, the seniors could become lonely, which can then lead to depression. However, a pet can help to reduce feelings of loneliness and depression. A number of elderly pet owners have stated how lonely and barren their lives felt without the companionship of a pet.
According to experts, a pet can help seniors focus on something besides the physical problems they are facing and the negative preoccupations that go along with aging and loss.
The pet also benefits when a senior adopts them. These lucky animals go from doggy jail to paradise. Since a large number of adopters are already retired, they have all the time in the world to spend with a previously unwanted animal.
However, prior to jumping into pet ownership, there are a number of considerations that should be made by the senior and their caregiver. In most cases, answering the following questions will help make the decision – and finding the right pet – easier.
• Is the senior set in their ways? If they don’t like change, a pet may not be a good idea.
• Have they ever owned a pet before? It is a good idea for the senior to have previous pet ownership experience.
• Do they have any disabilities? Dogs can serve as the ideal companion to encourage seniors with physical limitations to walk more and interact with others. For those with higher limitations, cats are usually less hands on and may be the better option.
• Would they benefit from a therapy pet?
When these questions are answered honestly, the right pet can be found for a senior that will provide all the benefits listed here. In addition to elder care services, which are a great option for seniors, pets can provide companionship and help improve a senior’s overall health. A pet may be just what a senior needs to encourage them to get out there, interact with others, and feel alive!
If you or an aging loved one are considering hiring senior care services in Monroe, NJ or the surrounding areas, please call Independence Home Care today at 609-208-1111 for more information.