Elderly adults enjoy spending time with friends and family members, but when they are dealing with chronic health issues, it seems that they spend a lot of time in their homes with elder care providers where they can feel a little lonely.
Many aging adults who feel bored, isolated, and a lack of purpose often look into adopting a dog or cat as a companion. In most cases, this is an excellent idea and family caregivers should seriously consider it when their aging loved one brings it up.
Benefits of Pet Ownership in Seniors.
The evidence is real—having a dog or cat is actually good for physical and mental health. There are many benefits to seniors adopting a dog or cat to be a constant companion. Here is a short list that may help aging adults convince their family caregivers that a pet is a good decision for their household.
- Studies show that pet owners are happier, healthier, and live longer than those without pets.
- Pets provide motivation for aging adults to be active as they take care of their dog or cat, from walks and active play to feeding and grooming.
- Research reveals that petting dogs and cats can actually reduce stress, lower blood pressure, and lower pain.
- Taking care of a cat or dog can be tied in with physical and occupational therapy exercises, under professional guidance.
- The unconditional love and affection from a dog or cat helps seniors avoid depression and sadness.
Tips on Adopting a Dog or Cat for a Senior.
There are plenty of do’s and don’ts when it comes to adopting a pet for an aging adult. First, it’s important for family caregivers and aging adults to assess the senior’s activity level so they can find the right pet. For example, a cat may be good for a bedridden senior because a dog would require walking. On the other hand, elderly adults that need an incentive to walk might benefit from a senior dog that is content with short excursions up and down the street.
Family caregivers should look at adopting senior dogs and cats from shelters. With millions of elderly animals waiting for homes, the shelter is a fine way to find that perfect pet companion. Senior dogs and cats are also less rambunctious than younger animals and are often content just to cuddle and play a little. Size, temperament, breed, and more also come into play.
Adopting a dog or cat is a positive step for an aging adult that is dealing with chronic health issues. There’s no doubt that most seniors will benefit from having a dog or cat with them. Family caregivers and elder care providers can step in and help with any aspect of pet care that the elderly adult cannot do.
If you or an aging loved one are considering hiring elder care in Seneca, SC, contact Heart of the Carolinas Home Care at 864-991-3116. Providing Home Care Services in Greenville, Simpsonville, Greer, Anderson, Spartanburg, Mauldin, Seneca, Laurens, Charleston, Columbia and the surrounding areas.