Five ways pets can help seniors
June 19, 2012
After retirement, seniors living an independent life can feel isolated and out of touch with the world around them. If your loved one suffers from loneliness, urge him or her to consider adopting a friendly four-legged companion. Below are some of the great ways pets can fill seniors with a sense of fulfillment and happiness.
1. Companionship. As seniors age, they can have an increased sense of separation from the outside world. A loyal pet can help act as a buffer against this feeling of sadness that seniors may feel, bestowing them with optimism as the pet provides hours of cuddle time. A dependable dog or cat pal is also certain to help seniors feel as though they have a stable source of emotional support to turn to in times of stress or turmoil.
2. Physical exercise. Pets are an important investment of time and energy, and they require more than just TLC. A daily regimen of walking, feeding, grooming and play time for pets also means that seniors considering adopting an animal should be prepared to spend time each day ensuring these needs are met. This activity can help seniors improve their general health, keep their joints firm and their limbs flexible.
3. Helpers. Does your relative have vision or hearing disabilities? All the more reason to consider adopting a dog to help your relative while he or she ventures out into public areas. Assistance dogs are specially trained to help people with medical conditions navigate public areas and maintain their independence. If the senior in your life has sensitive health issues, it may also be wise to invest in a medical alarm system from Bay Alarm. With the push of a button, the senior in your life will be able to reach out to emergency staff who can help in the event of a fall or accident.
4. Health. As helpers, pets can have a direct bearing on the health of elder caregivers, but they can also indirectly impact the health of seniors. According to a recent study, seniors with pets were shown to have significantly lower blood pressure and instances of heart attack than seniors who did not. If your relative has a history of heart conditions, you may want to encourage him or her to make a visit to the nearest animal shelter today.
5. Maintain a sense of purpose. Pet ownership can create a source of stability for seniors who live far away from loved ones, and can help instill seniors with a sense of purpose. Pets require daily maintenance and upkeep in order to stay healthy, and seniors can use these needs to set their own daily routines. With a furry friend around to greet them each day, seniors can feel invigorated and more upbeat.