For many seniors, nothing means more than spending time with a treasured furry friend. Studies have shown having a pet as a companion can have a significant impact on a senior’s physical and emotional wellbeing. The Prescott live-in care experts at Home Care Assistance want to share a few of these benefits.
Blood pressure can be difficult to control in the senior years, but owning a pet is one way to help manage this problem. Dogs can motivate those who are mobile to exercise by walking together or by playing with toys. This physical activity can help lower cholesterol and pulse rates, leading to a healthier heart. Even seniors with limited mobility can benefit from petting an animal or engaging in other light activity.
Having a pet can lower stress and depression that often results from loneliness. Many aging adults live alone and need more extensive companionship. Petting a cat or dog raises serotonin and dopamine levels in the brain, which produces a calmer feeling for both the senior and the pet. This can help a senior who is undergoing a treatment or receiving Prescott home care after a surgery heal faster than someone without a pet.
Sense of Purpose
After retirement, some seniors feel they aren’t needed anymore. Their children have grown up and have families of their own, and they may not live nearby, leaving the senior feeling empty. Having a pet can relieve those feelings because the senior is responsible for taking care of this new member of the family. Feelings of depression and disinterest can decrease when a senior feels he or she has a purpose.
A healthier, happier person is more willing to get out and be part of the community. Pets are a great way to break the ice and start conversations with neighbors and strangers alike. Making and maintaining friendships is as important to the elderly as it is to all stages of life, and the presence of a pet can build the confidence of a senior who has not been socially active for a while.
If your elderly loved one cannot manage having a pet for whatever reason, there are many other strategies for boosting his or her health. The caregivers at Home Care Assistance can assist with exercise, provide emotional support and social stimulation, and help with a wide variety of important daily tasks. We also offer comprehensive Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and stroke home care Prescott families can trust and rely on. For more information on our in-home care services, call one of our friendly Care Managers at (928) 771-0105 to schedule a no-obligation consultation.