According to Matt Davies Harmony Communities, when you grow old, you are limited in many ways. For many seniors, social engagement becomes rare and precious due to health and mobility issues or depleting energy levels. They can benefit a lot from having a pet. Let’s check out the benefits of pets for your elderly family members.
- They get happier – Research shows that sharing your life with an animal reduces anxiety and stress significantly. The hormones that induce stress and anxiety are low when you can pet a furry friend, irrespective of age. When you pet an animal, your body produces more serotonin, the happiness hormone. That hormone gives you a positive feeling and helps to lower your blood pressure.
The elderly members of your family would be happier when they have a pet in their life. Moreover, studies show that people suffering from dementia and Alzheimer’s disease are less aggressive when they have pets. Those conditions are more common in older people and if your elderly family members have them, a pet can be a great boon in their life.
- Provide a sense of purpose – On several polls across various states, seniors and elders overwhelmingly agree that their pets give them a sense of purpose. Those polls also show that elderly pet owners feel less stressed due to their pets. Pets need regular scheduling and structure in their daily life. You need to set aside time for grooming, feeding, cleaning, and doing other things while taking care of your pet. This kind of routine can give your retired elderly family members a sense of purpose and fulfillment.
- Companionship – Living alone can be very lonely if your elder family member has lost a partner or friend. Pets can fill up some of that void with their presence. Animals don’t have any ulterior motives. They live in the moment and provide unconditional love. They can also be happy with you while not throwing even an ounce of judgment in your direction. For elders who can name more deceased friends than living ones and find difficulty in seeking out a partner, or getting together with their loved ones, a pet can fill up their lonely home with endless brightness.
- Socializing – pets will get you out of the house, especially if you have a dog. Simply walking your dog or taking it to the park will make strangers strike up a conversation with you just so that they can get your permission to pet the dog. Elderly people with pets will get more opportunities to make new friends and form life-long bonds with similar people.
Matt Davies Harmony Communities suggests that you get a pet for the elderly members of your family to give them a loving companion, improve their self-esteem and reduce their loneliness. It’s also important to choose the right pet. You don’t want to give them a very active breed if the senior has mobility issues.