Benefits of Having a Pet

At every stage of life, we discover new qualities about ourselves. But, as we grow older and cross the 50s, we realise how the world is busy while we are left to look after our interests. Though you may have a social life and family to catch up with, growing old can sometimes get lonely. With more time on your hands post-retirement and major responsibilities fulfilled, seeking the companionship of pets is a growing trend among seniors worldwide.

Several studies have shown that people with pets tend to live longer, more fulfilled lives, and seniors with pets are also less likely to suffer from dementia, depression, or anxiety. One of the most pressing questions every senior has is, “What will happen tomorrow?” A scary concept, isn’t it? Pets at home encourage you to live in the moment and ‘now’, rather than focus on tomorrow. It is all about living in the present with pets, especially cats and dogs, helping you dispel negative thoughts.

Pets at home are extremely beneficial for seniors, and we’ve some compelling reasons you should consider pet parenting!

Benefits of Pets for Seniors

Having a pet has several perks for seniors, such as your physical, mental, emotional and psychological well-being.

Keep You Active

The type of pet you choose influences the amount of physical activity you get during the day. Walking your dog or playing with your dog or cat keeps you on your feet and gives you some physical activity and exercise during the day. From boosting your heart health to keeping your joints flexible and reducing blood pressure levels, pets are a great way to stay fit.

Provide a Sense of Purpose

It is natural for seniors and older people to question their existence and purpose of living as they grow older. Having a pet helps deal with this problem by giving seniors a sense of purpose and improving their emotional and psychological well being. Pets provide constant companionship and unconditional love, which reduce stress and keep seniors busy throughout the day.

Good for Your Mental Health

Regardless of age, pets are a source of an infinite amount of positive energy that almost always rubs off on those around them. Pets reduce anxiety and depression symptoms, as well as the risk of neurodegenerative diseases like dementia. They are also known to elevate mood among seniors, uplifting their mental and emotional health.

Help in Faster Healing

As we get older, we tend to fall sick more often, and healing may take longer than expected. Having a pet at home has been shown to boost immunity and quicken healing. Also, the love and care of pets at home give seniors the motivation to heal fast and return to a normal healthy life. Pets are known to distract the individual from discomfort and pain, making their recovery pleasant.

Help you Socialise and Make New Friends

Walking your dog or taking your cat outdoors to play increases the chances of interactions with other pet owners, pet lovers, and even your neighbours, helping you socialise with others and make new friends.

Provide a Sense of Security

With increasing lifespans and nuclear family setups, a large number of seniors are living alone. As you grow older, it is natural to worry about your safety and security in your home. Having pets, especially breeds of dogs known to guard and protect their owners provides mental and physical security to seniors living alone.

Key Takeaway!

Pets are a constant source of joy, happiness and positivity around your home. From helping you stay physically fit to giving you something to look forward to during the day, pets are great companions for seniors.

However, finding a pet most suitable for you is important. It is also essential to understand the challenges of owning a pet and the best way to manage them to enjoy wonderful moments with your furry friends. If you are thinking about bringing home a pet, it may be a good idea to speak to your friends who are pet parents to understand the dynamics of owning a pet better! Happy pet parenting!

Meenakshi Maruwada

Australian Over 50s Living & Lifestyle Guide

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