Pets and Companionship for the Elderly

Pets and Companionship for the Elderly at Home

According to the Humane Society, there’s an estimated 6-8 million dogs and cats that go through shelters every year. That’s a baffling estimate. Even though it’s actually much lower than it was a few decades ago, it’s no question that that’s something that needs our attention.

A possible solution to this problem is pets as a form of companionship in elderly care. Implementing pets as companions for the elderly will not only give a good and doting home to an animal in need, but it will also provide immense benefits to the new pet owner. 

Benefits of Pets in Companion Care

Taking care of a pet is a major change in a senior’s life, especially if they didn’t grow up around animals. What people have noted, however, is how helpful it is in elderly care to have an influence like a pet, who is wired to exist solely in the present moment. Their presence can be a push for the senior owner to live in a similar way.

If you’re an active senior, you’ll find yourself with much more opportunities to go out into the world. There are dog parks, hiking trails—even a walk around the block can be seen with new eyes. And if you’d rather spend your time at home, a cat can be a perfect model of relaxation without much physical taxation.

In studying this form of companion care, a survey noted that 71% of elderly patrons reported their animal making them feel better in times of physical pain. There’s a reason for this. It’s been proven that living with animals can lead to a significant decrease in blood pressure, triglycerides, and cholesterol. 

And if for no other reason, taking an animal into your home opens your heart to a fully devoted relationship. It’s been widely reported that pets have been linked to a decrease in loneliness in seniors, along with a renewed sense of purpose. You can have someone to take care of, and in their own way, they’ll be taking care of you, too. 

Finding the Right Pet

There are lots of things to take into consideration when choosing a potential pet. Evaluate your lifestyle, how often you’re out, and how often you have others over. You can find shelter websites with pictures online, but if you really want to see if it’s a match, the best option is to go to the shelter yourself. 

You can sit with the animal and see if you feel a bond with them. You might be surprised by the animal that warms your heart. Trust your instincts, even over your preconceptions. Maybe you never considered yourself a cat person or a fan of small yappy dogs, but as soon as the right creature crawled into your lap your mind might be quick to change.

You don’t have to do this on your own, either. If you’re looking for senior care in Indianapolis, IN, Serenity Care Services can provide transport and companionship as you go through this process. If you have questions or would just like to know more about what we can do for you, contact us today and we can guide you through the process!



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