We have talked about joy that a person can bring by volunteering with their pet in a senior care facility. Studies show that having animals present in an assisted living setting increases the quality of life for those living there. The benefits that pets have for seniors are tremendous. In addition to visiting senior centers, pet ownership has a lot of upside for seniors too.
More than just love in your heart
Having a pet can bring so much joy to our hearts. In fact, pets are actually good for our hearts, too. Pet owners tend to have lower blood pressure and reduced levels of stress. These physical benefits mean having a pet makes us healthier.
Pets get us moving
Another aspect of better health with pets is the fact that seniors with pets tend to exercise more. When you have a dog to walk, even just to go outside for a bathroom break, you get moving more. We tend to focus on getting our pet exercise, but the benefits go both ways.
They pick us up
Pets are good for our mental health, too. Studies show that pet owners, including seniors, are less likely to suffer from depression. Pets also help people get increased social interaction. By getting out more, having a good conversation starter at the end of the leash, and being more mentally aware help bring out the social animal in all of us. An added mental health benefit is that pets tend to help seniors’ have stronger memories.
A pet can add so many positive things to anyone’s life. A good furry friend can be especially great for seniors. When we have a little friend to take care of, we tend to focus less on the negative and more on the small joys in life.