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Advantages of Owning a Pet in the Golden Years

By , 9:00 am on

When your senior loved one wants to take on more responsibility, encourage him or her to become a pet owner. Taking care of a pet is a good way to remain mentally and physically active, boost self-confidence, and discover a sense of purpose. Here are some of the health benefits for seniors who own pets.

Offers Companionship

Loneliness and boredom are some of the top causes of depression in aging adults, but owning a pet could provide your senior parent with the companionship he or she craves. Seniors often enjoy one-on-one interaction with their pets, which can lead to a significant decrease in feelings of loneliness. Being a pet owner gives your loved one the chance to socialize with other pet owners at a local dog park, pet-friendly cafés and restaurants, pet stores, or various community events. The socialization that comes with being a pet owner can prevent isolation.

Owning a pet is just one of the many ways seniors can enjoy socialization and prevent isolation. For families living in Edmonton, respite care can be a wonderful solution when their aging loved ones need companionship and socialization a few hours a week or just need minor assistance with daily household tasks. At Home Care Assistance, we thrive on helping seniors maintain their independence while living in the comfort of home.

Promotes Better Heart Health

Owning a pet could encourage your loved one to exercise more instead of sitting around the home and being sedentary. When it’s time to go for an afternoon walk, your loved one can take his or her dog for a stroll around the neighborhood or visit a local dog park. Going on regular walks could lower your loved one’s blood pressure, which reduces the risk of strokes, heart attacks, and other cardiovascular conditions. In addition to walking, your loved one can play fetch with the dog, which leads to more movement. Being physically active can increase circulation, which could prevent blood clots, insulin resistance, and other serious issues.

Seniors who need help exercising should consider professional in-home care. Edmonton home care experts are available to provide high-quality care to seniors on an as-needed basis. From assistance with mobility and exercise to providing transportation to the doctor’s office and social events, there are a variety of ways professional caregivers can help your aging loved one continue to live independently.

Lowers Stress Levels

As your loved one grows older, he or she may experience stressful situations such as decreasing health or the loss of a spouse. However, owning a pet could help your loved one combat stress and enhance his or her overall mood. Having a sense of purpose can increase the amount of stress-relieving hormones in a senior’s body, which can keep him or her calm and combat negative emotions such as anger and sadness. Make sure the pet is low maintenance so your loved one doesn’t have to overwork his or her body when taking care of the animal.

Boosts Memory

It’s important for adults to keep their brains active in the senior years to maintain their memory and communication skills. Becoming a pet owner could provide your loved one with the stimulation he or she needs to lower the risk of memory loss and other cognitive health issues. Your loved one will need to interact with his or her pet on a daily basis and perform duties such as feeding, grooming, and exercising. Carrying out these duties can keep your parent mentally engaged and lower his or her risk of developing dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

Not all seniors should become pet owners. Some older adults don’t like animals, while others have serious medical issues that prohibit them from owning a pet. If your senior loved one needs help managing an illness or assistance with daily tasks, make sure you choose a top-rated provider of elderly care. Edmonton Home Care Assistance is here to help your loved one live a happier and healthier life in the golden years. From the mentally stimulating activities in our Cognitive Therapeutics Method to our friendly Care Managers who are available to answer your questions 24 hours a day, we offer a wide array of high-quality at-home care services. To create a customized in-home care plan for your aging parent, give us a call at (780) 490-7337 today.