Sure, taking care of pets takes a lot of work and they can prove to be a handful. However, adopting an animal from a shelter may be as much of a service to you as it is to them. There are many different ways that a pet can benefit someone in their old age. Here are just a few:
Many senior citizens report feelings of loneliness and sometimes these feelings can manifest themselves in boredom.
This can be a great benefit that isn’t often considered. Pets require routine so that their care is consistent. Like them, humans are much happier and healthier when they have consistency. Having to follow a set pattern in order to care for your pet will help to structure your routine as well.
Pets need exercise – another thing we have in common with them! Taking them for daily walks is a great way to seamlessly implement exercise into your life!
Stress and depression occur very frequently in the senior community. Illness or a loss of independence can be enormous sources of anxiety and depression. However, pets have proven to be extremely therapeutic across the demographics.
Lower Blood Pressure
Studies have shown that owning or even interacting with an animal can relax you, lower your heart rate, and ultimately lower your blood pressure.
Certain pets, like dogs, can offer a certain level of security. Even if the animal is not specifically trained to protect you, simply owning one can make you feel more secure and less alone at times that you would normally feel vulnerable like at night.
One benefit repeatedly attributed to pet ownership is an increase in the person’s confidence. Caring for another living thing and having it rely on you for love, attention, and support can be extremely empowering.
Socialization can be a real struggle for the elderly. Their circle of friends may have decreased and entering into old age can mean less and less people in your age bracket to connect with. Pets can be an excellent way to socialize by bringing them places or walking them. They are usually much more approachable so they can be a great icebreaker to connect with others.
If you are interested in the concept of adopting a pet for you or a loved one to care for, visit a local shelter to meet different animals and learn more. Kittens and puppies can take a lot of work. Consider adopting an older animal. They aren’t as sought after and there are many that need homes.
It is also important when considering adopting a pet to keep in mind that a pet is not temporary. Too many animals are abandoned because they were adopted carelessly. Adoption is a serious decision and shouldn’t be taken lightly. If you are a senior living alone, make sure that you have family or friends that are willing to support you in case taking care of your pet becomes too much.