While not everyone is a pet person, those who enjoy keeping a pet certainly have an advantage. And we’re not just talking about those who are in need of home care assistance; we’re talking about just about everyone out there. But those needing elder care services can certainly expect to live a fuller like thanks to an animal in his or her life. Let’s take a look at some of the biggest advantages that they might expect by owning a pet.
Pets Can Improve Mood
There’s no doubt that one of the biggest benefits of having a pet is their ability to boost moods. After all, pets who cuddle up with a person help release endorphins in the brain, making them feel better. Pets also make a person feel needed, which improves mood as well.
Of course, you can’t ignore the antics that animals perform. A cat on catnip or a dog chasing its own tail leads to laughter. Just having a pet around can create smiles that otherwise wouldn’t exist in a house.
Pets Can Lower Blood Pressure
Having a pet can reduce the amount of stress in your life, or at least help you put it into perspective. While the boss might not have liked your proposal and the policeman might not have liked how fast you were driving, it’s beneficial to know that someone is waiting for you at home and is happy to see you.
This type of stress reduction is especially true among the elderly, who are more likely to have hypertension. Knowing that they have the constant affections of a pet, especially if the person has to go away for something stressful like a doctor’s appointment, can help to lower blood pressure.
A Reason To Live
This may sound sad, but it’s true; when some of our patients reach the end of their lives, they may wonder why they’re still living. Many of the elderly have lost their spouses and are no longer able to keep up with their social circles, so with so little to look forward to short term (throughout the day) and long term (for the remainder of their lives), it can be hard to convince them that there is certainly something still worth living for.
First of all, our elder care services goes a long way to helping people who need daily assistance find their purpose in life. Simply having someone to talk to can go a long way to brightening someone’s spirits, and we’re happy to play that role when we’re around.
But pets can also play a big role in the lives of the elderly. Pets are reliant on their human caregivers, and this responsibility for another living thing gives someone extra purpose. It also gives the elderly someone to “talk” to through the day when home-care services aren’t around. This leads to a lesser incidence of depression for those who have pets.
Live In The Moment
For someone who’s at the end of their life, the future might not always look so bright. But there’s still life to live, and living in the present can be more beneficial than looking to the future. Animals are always living in the present, which is a good reminder for someone requiring elder care service to do the same.
Helps In Socialization
Not everyone we provide elder care services to is a shut-in. Some simply need additional help throughout the day, so we’re not with them for in-home healthcare 24-hours-a-day. Many of these clients are still active throughout the day and able to talk to neighbors over the back fence while they let their dog run around in the back yard. Some are even able to take the dog on walks, which gets them both exercise and increases socialization throughout the neighborhood.
And speaking of exercise…
Pets Help With Exercise
Taking care of a pet in any capacity can help with exercise. The most obvious is that people get out and walk, but even those who don’t are still moving more than those who don’t go for walks. For instance, they’re bending over to pick up the pet, or reaching for a dog treat, or moving around more to open the door and allow it to go outside. Getting the blood flowing, no matter how little, can still improve the health of the elderly.
Pets Can Reduce Pain
Studies show that people who have a pet around request considerably less pain medication. Not only do pets help decrease anxiety in people’s lives, which cuts down on the tension people keep in their bodies, but the pets also prove an excellent distraction so that people have something to think about besides the pain they might be feeling.
And speaking of anxiety, pets have also been shown to help those suffering from Alzheimer’s. Alzheimer’s patients who have a pet have fewer anxious outbursts, which makes life easier for their caregivers and the patients themselves.
Pets Can Improve Air Quality
As long as a person isn’t allergic to the particular pet in question, pets can actually help someone improve the air quality in their home. It might sound strange, but just opening the door long enough for Fido to go outside can let in fresh air that an elderly individual might not normally get.
They Can Aid In Recovery
The benefits of owning a pet we mentioned above prevent problems. But having a pet can also reduce the recovery time after something like a heart attack. Not only that, but those who have a pet tend to live longer after a heart attack than those who don’t have one. Prevention, and cure!
Should You Get The Elderly A Pet?
Even though there are all of those benefits associated with having a pet around, owning a pet is a big decision. If your loved one in need of elderly home care has never had a pet before and has even actively said that they’re not interested in them, don’t buy them a dog as a surprise! It’s a decision that should be made with the aged, not for them. Similarly, if a person is so frail that they can’t get out of bed and may pass away soon, a pet may not be the best option for them. You’ll also want to consider the additional expenses that might be incurred in order to take care of the pet.
Owning a pet can be a boon to the elderly, and if it’s right for someone in your life, we hope you’ll discuss it with them; go ahead, show them this article to convince them!