Loneliness is a real issue in elderly people. You’ll hear of various hotlines where volunteers will spend four hours of their day calling up the elderly who live in their neighbourhood, simply offering an ear to ask how they are doing and to put a smile on their face. At times, these youthful voices are the only people that the seniors speak throughout the entire day. This is why pets are vital in senior citizen homes, such as assisted living facilities. A sweet dog or cat, along with birds, can truly brighten any senior citizen’s face for days to come–especially when it is an ongoing relationship.
Pets as a Source of Comfort
While you may believe that owning a pet is difficult considering the amount of care and love that is required, the benefits that it can reap will outweigh any negatives. Having a pet around allows anyone to reduce their blood pressure and stress, as well as improving on their social interactions which is something that senior citizens lack the most as they near death.
Living in the Present
Something striking about these furry creatures is that dogs and cats very much live in the present. Whereas elderly people often think of the future as they approach a sometimes more sad end to life, and younger individuals think about what their future will look like when they’re grown up, married with children and an awesome career to be proud for, our furry pets only care about the right now. It teaches us all valuable lessons–that all we truly have in our life is the present, and we might as well enjoy what we have since nothing is ever guaranteed.
Stop Thinking About Tomorrow
Older people may find it scary to think about what tomorrow brings, especially if they have difficulty going about their everyday life as they used to when they were younger. Perhaps they can no longer swallow food, or can no longer hear or walk. Any disability that may prevent them from the freedom they so loved and desired can be frightening, and a sweet animal roaming around your home is agreeably a treat for anyone worried about what is next.
Believe it or not, but psychological studies have shown that improved memory is in store for seniors who often interact with pets. Pets allow senior citizens to concentrate on something different from their mental or physical disabilities, and practically forget about the concept of aging.
Choosing a Pet
Many criteria must be considered when choosing a pet for a senior loved one. First, have they ever had a pet before in their youth? Also ask yourself if this individual is opposed to change or not, since owning a pet truly does deserve continuous time and care. If the person in question has debilitating disabilities, like being unable to walk, then perhaps you should choose a different pet such as a bird or a hamster. Dogs require much attention and room for exercise, something that an individual who is unable to walk cannot suffice. An older pet who is set in their ways and is already potty trained is ideal for senior citizens. We recommend always going the adoption route as there are many sweet creatures that need a loving home.