How Owning a Pet Helps Senior Citizens

How Owning a Pet Helps Senior Citizens

No matter what age we are, most of us crave some type of companionship. This need only tends to intensify the older we get. Funny enough, company isn’t the only thing that owning a pet can offer you as you get deeper into your senior years. In fact, there are many impressive benefits to owning a pet as a senior citizen:

 

They Stimulate Brain Activity

The entire process of adopting a pet allows for brain stimulation. Searching for pet breeds and reading through their tendencies and behaviors helps get your mind moving. There have also been cases that show that elders with some memory loss can access old memories after adopting and interacting with their new pet. They give you the responsibility of caring for another creature which keeps your mind fresh.

 

Increasing Social Interaction

Having an animal, especially a dog, can result in more social interaction with people out and about as well as with your neighbors. You can be introduced to new people out on walks or have something to talk about when you meet someone. A pet even helps to get the conversation going when you have visitors over your house. An animal in the house gives off a more friendly atmosphere that stimulates conversation.

 

Routine

As you get older, you may find yourself doing very little up and about or not having much purpose in your day. Well, an animal helps to implement more of a routine into your day. It gives you a little more responsibility and something to tend to to keep you moving both mentally and physical.

 

Physical Activity

Whether you want a dog, cat, or even a bird, a pet gives you the chance to get up and do something. It may be taking your dog out on a walk to get some exercise for both of you. It may be getting a toy and playing a bit with your cat. Or it may just be getting up to feed a bird or clean up their cage a bit. To stay healthy, no matter the age, you need to get a little bit of physical activity in your day and animals give the opportunity and the responsibility to do just that.

 

 

They Give You a Sense of Now

The older you get, the more upsetting, or even scary,  the prospect of tomorrow gets. Animals, especially dogs, live very much in the now. The play now, they eat now, they bark now, and they have no worries about what tomorrow will bring. This will help to add a sense of now to your life and keep you happy in the present.

 

Reduce Stress

Studies have shown that people who own a pet live lives with much less stress. It’s indicated by researchers that pet owners have lower blood pressure and pulse rates. Animals help to reduce your anxiety. Their carefree attitudes have a calming affect on those around them, and even just touching a pet is said to make someone feel more relaxed.

 

Loving and Accepting

Pets offer you undying love and affection. They are loyal and attached to you from the get go and will never leave you feeling unloved. Animals make you feel like you are needed, something that everyone needs. They give the non judgmental acceptance that can be difficult to find at any age.

 

Improves Moods

In over 80% of pet owners, their animal makes them feel better when they are said or upset. Sometimes they even help when you feel physically sick or just bad. An animal takes away the loneliness you may be feeling and they have been proven to reduce feelings of depression. They give you someone to talk to when you feel stressed or upset or even just in day to day activities.

 

Security

Many seniors feel far more secure with a pet. Sometimes it’s just the idea of having another creature in the house with you or, with a dog, they truly improve the security of your house. No one is likely to break into the house of a barking a dog, even if the dog is a foot tall.

 

They Keep You Healthy

Many tests have shown that pet owners are healthier than non pet owners. Not only are they proven to visit their GP’s less and need less medicine which can save  them thousands of dollars, but they are also much more likely to survive longer after an acute heart attack. Pet owners have even been seen to recover faster from surgeries and illnesses than non pet owners. Pet’s are the cutest medicine there is.

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