It’s been proved that a pet has a positive influence on its owner–mentally as well as physically. That’s because among other things animals live completely in the here and now. They never worry about tomorrow.
And that’s perfect for older people, because for them, “tomorrow” can be a terrible worry. Older people who share their lives with an animal experience less stress and show fewer signs of depression.
Perhaps then, a pet might be something for your elderly parents––or your grandparents?
Go here to discover 10 reasons why pets improve the lives of older people.
Sad to say, loneliness is something a lot of older people experience. So it’s important to take action straight away–before loneliness turns to depression and even physical symptoms. A pet can be a great solution.
2. Regular habits
By looking after a pet older people can re-establish structure in their lives. They can feel useful because another living creature depends on its owner having a daily routine. And that’s good, because someone who finds it difficult to bother getting up––perhaps because of depression, for example––now has a reason to get out of bed.
3. Fresh air and exercise
Exercise is important for everyone, but especially for people who are getting on in years. So a short walk every day with a pet can help people keep active.
Studies have shown that older people who have no pet are more susceptible to stress than older people with one or more pets. A walk with a four-footed friend can also have a noticeable effect on the stress-levels of an older member of the family.
5. Getting out of doors
All pets love fresh air–dogs certainly do! Dog owners go on regular ‘outings’ with their pets. It might be a visit to the vet., or a walk in the park or just going to the supermarket. But thanks to their pets older people have plenty of reason to go outside.
6. Social contact
Animal lovers often come across other animal lovers. On that quick walk round the block, in the pet shop or even at special events for pet owners. It’s just a great chance for older folk to make new friends. Top tip: a pet is always a great icebreaker!
7. New interests
Having a pet makes it easier for older people to stay socially active. And perhaps they’ll find new interests. Who knows? Maybe Mum or Dad might like to help out at the local animal sanctuary? Or perhaps dog and owner together will make the difference as volunteers?
8. Feeling safer
Living alone can sometimes be frightening, especially in later life. So a dog offers not only companionship but also a feeling of security. After all a barking dog is a great burglar alarm! And if a burglar does manage to break in the dog will do a great job as security guard!
Some older people can begin to get a feeling of emptiness. They’ve been pensioned off, the children are grown up now, and there’s no-one left to depend on the care of Grandma and Grandpa… But that doesn’t take a pet into account! Certainly not if it’s one from a sanctuary. The Flanders government has a special website for pets who are themselves looking for companionship: BE: https://www.vlaanderen.be/nl/natuur-en-milieu/dieren/dierenasielen
10. Friends for life.
The bond of friendship between older people and their pets is wonderful to see––and it’s priceless too. They offer solace, warmth and security and encourage an active and social lifestyle. That’s why choosing to have a pet is not just enormously enriching––it’s a sensible choice too.
Stannah Stairlfts encourage a mobile lifestyle and ensure that your loved ones can stay living at home longer. With their faithful four-footed friend!