Sharing your life with a pet is a beautiful thing and offers many benefits for seniors. Beyond companionship, keeping pets is great for your health! Research has proven that pets can improve your quality of life, stabilising moods and blood pressure levels. Here are some of the benefits of keeping a furry friend.
- Better communication
Forging a connection with a pet can help seniors who have dementia. Their presence stimulates responsiveness through non-verbal communication. A simple pet or brush against the leg can make a world of difference in otherwise lonely circumstances.
- Improved social skills
Walking your dog around the neighbourhood can turn you into quite the socialite, perhaps even opening up room for tea-time play dates with other dog owners. Meeting other pet-friendly neighbours with common interests is mentally stimulating and can result in great conversations and friendships.
- Physical fitness
Pets make you mobile – the daily routine keeps the creakiness at bay. Whether you’re walking a dog, playing with a cat or feeding a bird – you’re using your muscles. The responsibility for another life gives you purpose and keeps you fit.
- Health benefits
It’s been scientifically proven that interacting with pets can reduce stress, lower blood pressure and reduce your chances of developing heart disease. Pets also improve mental health, alleviating loneliness, anxiety and depression, which can lead to a happier, longer life.
Examine your personal circumstances first before buying or adopting a pet. Ask yourself if your finances are adequate to cover food, vaccinations, and medical treatment when necessary. Also, establish what breed or size you’re comfortable with if your physical condition will allow you to manage your pet. If you’re fit enough to take a half-hour walk every day, a dog is an excellent choice, but if you’re home-bound, a cat will make the perfect companion.