As we age, our needs change and we may start looking into getting a pet to make our lives a bit happier and easier. If you are still undecided on whether or not being a pet owner will benefit your life, here are several benefits of pet ownership for older adults.
Everyone is aware that pets make great friends. Older adults have a high tendency of feeling lonely as people whom they love grow more distant as they age. They may slowly drift away from the people they are close to in their golden years and it does help to always have someone near to make them feel less alone. Pets can fill that role very well by offering companionship that prevents older adults to feel isolated.
Pets are often used during therapy sessions for older adults and for people of all ages. This group of people is often associated with mental issues like depression. For older adults, having a pet provides them with a sense of presence in their place of residence, and they can feel like there is someone with whom they can communicate. The pet may not have as many things to say as compared to a person, but older adults can still talk to their pets to release their emotions. That, in itself, is highly therapeutic and it can make people feel less uncomfortable than talking to a person who is not even there.
Something to Do
Having a pet lets older adults have some responsibilities that they need to deliver every day. They have to play with their pet, feed it, and groom it. These daily chores can occupy their free time so they will not feel as bored. Performing these chores will also keep older adults active and provide them with a sense of purpose.
For larger pets like dogs, pet owners need to spend some time every day playing with their pet to ensure that the animal has enough physical activity. Older adults may choose to run with their dogs or use toys to play with their cats. These activities in turn enable older adults to remain active even if it means completing small tasks with their pet.
Pets can help us to relieve stress the way. People who own pets have a higher tendency to release a hormone called oxytocin. When this happens, stress levels are reduced. Oxytocin can be released by both humans and animals. Hence, without being aware of it, pet owners are actually helping their pets to stay positive and release stress when they play with them.
Helping at Home
Pets can actually be helpers too. Dogs are great at retrieving lost items or helping to fetch things that are located at hard-to-reach places. Pets are also much more alert as compared to humans so they can react responsively should anything happen to their owners. Cats may meow and dogs may howl to let others know that their owners are injured or harmed. This will in turn attract the attention of people in the surroundings to come to render assistance.