Owning a pet has a lot of advantages for many people. Seniors, however, are even more likely to benefit from pet ownership--especially if they live alone. If you're on the fence about a pet for the senior in your life, these benefits may help you decide.
1. Owning a pet means a constant companion. Many seniors struggle with feelings of loneliness, especially if they've recently lost a spouse. Having a pet to love and spend time with can help keep those feelings of loneliness at bay and make it easier for them to cope with those feelings.
2. Owning a pet keeps your loved one active. Dogs need to be taken out and walked on a regular basis--and as their owner, your senior loved one will be the one taking them! Pet ownership is great for seniors who often don't leave the house for days at a time.
3. Walking a dog offers more socialization opportunities. Walking through the park with a dog is a great conversation-starter, especially as your senior loved one takes the same walk each day and has the chance to connect with others who use the same route.
4. Pets reduce depression. It's not just about losing the sense of loneliness, though that certainly helps. Pet ownership simply helps reduce depression in many individuals, leading to more fulfilling lives. There's nothing quite like a dog licking your face or a cat purring in your lap to increase your overall feeling of happiness.
5. Therapy pets can help many elderly individuals with tasks around the house. As your loved one ages, a therapy dog can go a long way toward keeping them independent longer, especially if they need help with tasks like opening doors from a wheelchair.
Pet ownership isn't always perfect, but for many seniors, the benefits far outweigh the drawbacks. If you're considering a pet for your senior loved one, discuss it with them ahead of time, then move forward with your plans together.
At Caring Senior Service we are always ready to help seniors and their families by providing professional advice and services. As you consider ways to give support to your aging parents or relatives, consider including us in your plans. Contact our care team today!