An Introduction to Pets for Seniors

An Introduction to Pets for Seniors

Pets can be a wonderful addition to any home, providing a sense of companionship, responsibility, and more.

And the home of an aging loved one is no exception. In fact, studies have shown quite a number of benefits to introducing pets into the lives of our aging loved ones.

Throughout this series, we will discuss various aspects regarding seniors and their pets, from the benefits, to how to choose a pet that is right for them, to how to care for a pet in their old age.

For today, we are going to concentrate on the benefits, as well as some other things to take into consideration. Take a look below:

The benefits

An active lifestyle. Pets, such as dogs, can help get you motivated to live a more active lifestyle. Dogs require a fair amount of exercise and sunshine, giving you the opportunity to enjoy these activities as well, which in turn helps with bone and muscle strength, as well as helping you reduce the risk of heart disease, obesity, and diabetes.

Responsibility. Aside from dogs, simply having a pet, such as a cat or bird, requires you to get out of the house in order to pick up things to properly care for them. This sense of responsibility is a great way to add a new and positive focus to your life and a sense of value in your daily tasks. Studies have also shown that having a routine to your day as well as a sense of responsibility helps to keep mental cognition sharp, which may in turn slow the onset of Alzheimers.

Emotional health. Pets are also great companions that provide a sense of companionship and fight off loneliness. As we age, the risk of losing a loved one is much greater. Pets can help to ease the pain of this loss and in turn fight any depression that may occur. According to Ian Cook, MD, a psychiatrist and director of the Depression Research and Clinic Program at UCLA, “Pets offer an unconditional love that can be very helpful to people with depression.

Social interaction. Pets can also help increase your social activity as they provide opportunities for you or your loved one to meet other pet owners, whether at a park when walking your dog, the pet store, or vet’s office.

Other considerations

Is it too late for me or my loved one to have a pet?

Much of this depends on the state of health you or your loved one is in. However, pets come in all shapes and sizes, and some require less care than others. For the best possible outcome, we suggest seeking the advice of a medical professional who will be able to help you decide on a pet that will fit your lifestyle.

Check back on Wednesday when we outline a few tips to consider when choosing a pet that is right for you. In the meantime, if you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact us at any time. We’d love to hear from you!

Physicians’ Choice Private Duty Assisted Living “currently serving Omaha, Eastern Nebraska and Western Iowa “provides seniors and their families a complete understanding of geriatric care options and helps families maneuver through the challenges of the system. Get your free Cost Comparison guide by clicking here. Or contact us for a free consultation or just to say hello!

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