Pets give their companions unconditional love. It makes them a joy to be with, whether the pet in question is a lovable Labrador, a preening Persian or a beautiful budgie. They are more than simply animals we look after – they become part of our families.
Pets are perfect companions for the elderly. The benefits of having the company of a pet later on in life are many and varied. Research has discovered that people with pets are less prone to suffering depression. They also have higher levels of dopamine – which is what helps us to stay you calm and feel relaxed. And it is noted that people with pets make less visits to their GP.
For people to experience the most benefits to their health benefits doesn’t require them to have the most playful dogs or affectionate cats, because even just watching the calming movements of fish inside an aquarium helps lower pulse rates and relieve muscle tension.
The fact is that having a pet does more than just providing much appreciated company. Among the health benefits of having the companionship of an animal are:
Easing stress and anxiety
Pets bring comfort, and help us cope with anxiety. They build self-confidence for those people who may be nervous about venturing out into their local community. It is because animals live in the present, and don’t fret about the past or the future, they instinctively know how to live and to care. There is no doubt this is a great help for all of us who need to be mindful of the moment we are in. Cats and dogs also encourage our own playfulness and laughter, which is a great boost to our immune systems and energy levels.
Keeping us active
Pets keep us active, especially when we approach our elderly years. In particular dogs provide us with numerous opportunities to get out and about to enjoy the fresh air, to keep our blood flowing and our muscles stimulated. Countless studies have revealed the benefits of keeping fit and having a pet with whom to have a brisk walk around the park. Animals not only are ideal for keeping us motivated, but they keep us in shape too.
Helping to cope with grief
Coming home to a loving companion is a joyful experience, especially when a lifelong partner has recently passed away. Having a pet is not a permanent fix for grief, but the animal can give you the encouragement to meet new people and get out of the house. Walking a dog generates vital social connections because we are bound to have conversations with our fellow dog owners, which is a significant source of comfort when we are going through the grieving process.
Depression is often triggered by isolation and loneliness, but when we benefit from our pet’s unconditional love and companionship can these symptoms can be alleviated and we can find a new sense of purpose. Whether we witness their excitement as we throw them a ball or feel the soft, soothing vibrations as our cats purr on our laps, simply being with a pet can lift the mood and release endorphins – which are the same chemicals that help in the reduction of blood pressure.
Increasing our sense of security
When we grow older we can become increasingly frail, which can cause us to feel much more vulnerable, even in places where we should be feeling our safest. But sharing our homes with a companion can help us feel more at ease in our own homes. When a dog barks it is a powerful deterrent for burglars, and jut knowing you have a companion to rely upon to bark for help can alleviate a lot of anxiety.
We have to face up to it: Getting on in years can be a very lonely time. Our loved ones and friends move or pass away, and leaving the house becomes increasingly difficult let alone participating in once-loved activities. One source of comfort that can benefit seniors in countless ways is the companionship that loving pets are able to give.
Cats, Dogs & Peace of Mind can look after your pets – cats, dogs and all manner of small pets – when you have to be away or when you just simply need help to give them the care and attention they need and want. To find out more please don’t hesitate to get in touch.