Many of us are more than willing to adopt animals from local shelters, but often, the older animals are overlooked in favor of younger ones. But for seniors, those older animals can be a great addition to their every day lives.
Pets are a great addition to any life or family. Frequently, kids want a pet to play with, someone they can run with, throw the ball for, and have as a friend. Puppies are great for this. The child and their pet end up growing and playing together, most importantly to most parents or guardians, to wear both of them out.
Older adults can benefit from this kind of responsibility and friendship, but in a way that suits their stage of life: adopting an older pet. Older pets are much like humans, they have lower energy, are usually already house trained and used to people, and aren’t as high maintenance as a new pup. Here are five reasons why adopting a pet could benefit seniors:
For all ages, getting a pet means getting more responsibility. For older adults, that responsibility for another living thing can support their own responsibility for taking care of themselves. Having a pet gives us purpose; they’re counting on us to help them live.
An Unbreakable Bond
Loneliness and isolation are common for older adults and seniors to experience, especially in transitional and life-changing times. Having a pet allows companionship and consistency, which can decrease these feelings of loneliness and isolation. When you have a loving, loyal friend by your side, feeling alone is much less likely.
A Better Social Life
Dogs also help humans socialize, which is another great benefit for seniors. Getting together with neighbors or friends that have pets, or enjoy the company of pets, is a great way to keep up social life as an older adult, which can usually be difficult at this stage of life.
Supporting an Active Lifestyle
Even in adopting an older pet, animals still need exercise, as do humans. Having a companion and friend to take on walks will keep seniors active. As we mentioned before, the overall responsibility that one has for their pet often carries over into the way one cares for themselves. Keeping a pet healthy will result, most likely, in one keeping themselves healthy, too.
Research has shown that something as simple as petting an animal can reduce blood press and stress. Along with the other health benefits we have listed, time spent petting or sitting with an animal can reduce the stress one may experience in life.
Americare believes in the companionship, love, and benefits of having a pet, which is why we are pet friendly. Explore our living options today, or call 573-544-0756 to speak to an eldercare advisor. We’re here to help and support you, every step of the way.