There’s no disputing animals have always had a positive impact on their owners’ lives.
Now, evidence suggests four-legged friends are a real health benefit for elderly people, helping them live longer, healthier and happier lives.
Pets Encourage Seniors to Stay Active
The general care associated with a pet can help seniors live more energetic lives. As any pet owner knows, animals need attention and keep us active whether we want to be or not. Pets help seniors establish routines and get them to do things they might not normally do, such as getting outside and walking their dog or changing their cat’s litter box, feeding, grooming or playing with their pet.
Pets Make Great Companions for Seniors
Pets can give an elderly person a great sense of self and help increase self-esteem since pets need and rely on their owners for virtually every aspect of their caretaking. Seniors also benefit from the unconditional love and affection their pets give them.
Just the very presence of a pet provides camaraderie to seniors, helping them realize they are not alone. Additionally, having a pet, especially a dog, can give seniors a great sense of safety just by the barking which can keep unwanted visitors away.
Pets Help Our Hearts
Studies show that older pet-owning citizens have lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels than non-owners, helping to reduce their risk for heart disease and decrease their number of visits to the doctor. Additionally, a number of other studies suggest that pet owners have a better chance for long-term survival after surviving a coronary event than non-pet owners.
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