September 3, 2021
Are you looking for ways to keep your elderly loved ones busy as they transition into their next stage of life? Do you want to make sure they have a companion to hang out with and take care of? If so, then you need to learn about the benefits of getting a pet for your senior.
There are many benefits of having a pet as a senior. These benefits include improving their social life, improving their mood, creating a routine, health benefits, helping them cope with stress, and more.
Read below for an in-depth guide on getting a pet for a senior and why it’s the best decision you’ll ever make.
1. Improves Their Activity Levels
One of the biggest struggles that you will have is ensuring that your elderly loved ones stay active. As they age and start to suffer from aches and pains, they have less motivation to get out and walk around.
However, the benefits of high activity levels in older adults are too good to pass up. It can help reduce the probability that they’ll fall, reduces their blood pressure, helps reduce chronic pain, and can ensure that your loved one is able to live independently.
Now the problem becomes helping them find the motivation to do so. As it turns out, furry friends might be the best solution for this issue. Pets (specifically dogs) can encourage more activity with their elderly compadres. Your loved one will find more purpose in going for walks outside, and working out in moderation to be able to keep up with their pup.
Pets will also keep your loved ones busy inside their living space as well. Between getting up to let them outside, feeding them, giving them water, and petting them, they’ll have no choice but to remain active!
2. Lifts Their Mood
Unfortunately, recent research has shown that elderly people are starting to experience more and more symptoms of anxiety and depression. In fact, it’s believed that 7 million Americans over the age of 65 suffer from anxiety or depression, especially while living in constant fear of current events.
This has become somewhat of a vicious cycle. As elderly people lose the motivation to exercise, their body starts to produce less feel-good hormones, which will welcome in higher levels of stress and anxiety.
Fortunately, pets have been shown to elevate a human’s mood substantially. Dogs have been credited with easing the loneliness of others thanks to the constant feeling of companionship that they give you. This is especially helpful for those that have lost a loved one.
In fact, petting a dog has proven to release oxytocin in your brain, which is one of the feel-good hormones that we mentioned earlier. It helps you to feel calm and relaxed. Pair that with the higher levels of dopamine that their brain will produce from the uptick in exercise, and you can thank your new companion for putting in all the hard work!
3. Constant Companionship
There’s nothing better than walking into your home and seeing your dog explode with excitement. it makes you feel appreciated and as if you’re the only thing in the world that matters.
Elderly people need companionship. However, as they age, they start to lose interest in keeping up with their social lives. They might even start to feel lonely if they’re trapped in their house by themselves.
You want to be there for them as much as possible, but you have your own life to keep up with as well. You want to make sure your loved one has someone to love on them whenever you’re not around.
Just Life Family will refer you to the caregiver for your loved one’s needs. These companion services can even help out with your loved one’s pet. Caregivers are happy to engage with clients through mentally stimulating board games, cards, or puzzles, taking the dog for a walk, or assist with household chores.
4. Creates a Routine
The secret isn’t just to get your loved one to engage in physical activity or social events every once in a while, they need to commit to a routine of it to see the best results.
This is perhaps the biggest benefit of seniors adopting a pet. To care for them, your loved one will form a consistent routine and stick to it.
Should seniors adopt a pet? Going on walks and having a stable routine is worth the investment.
5. Staying Social
Walking with a dog results in a significantly higher number of chance conversations with complete strangers than walking alone. A caregiver referred by Just Like Family can also drive your loved ones to the dog park, the pet store, or grab lunch at a dog-friendly restaurant. A dog is a great conversation starter!
We all have a tendency to get concerned when your elderly loved one seemingly has nothing to talk about on the phone. The conversation can grow stale. With a pet to keep them on their toes, you’ll start to notice that your loved one will come back to life.
Talk to Your Loved Ones
Consider talking to your loved ones about getting a dog or a cat. They might be hesitant at first, but these key points might help. Be sure to read this article for more restorative strategies you can try if your elderly loved one has senior anxiety. Be sure to call us toll-free at 877-434-5530 for more information regarding our caregiver referrals and services.