Pet therapy has proven to be beneficial in many ways for people over 65. However, some seniors might have a difficult time taking care of a younger dog or cat. Lancaster, PA, home care professional discuss a few reasons why your elderly loved one might want to adopt an older pet instead.
A loving pet can reduce loneliness and depression in seniors and provide a sense of purpose that encourages them to live in the moment instead of worrying about the future. Older pets often end up in shelters because their owners are unable to care for them any longer, not because of behavioral issues, and they are grateful to be restored to a loving home.
Pets naturally need walks and other forms of exercise, which will encourage your loved one to become more physically active. One advantage of older pets is that they do not require quite as much exercise as their younger counterparts, which means your loved one can keep up and is less likely to be injured than he or she would by a rambunctious puppy or kitten.
Health conditions, medications, and sadness over the loss of a spouse can lead to insomnia in seniors. Curling up with a furry companion can provide a sense of comfort and security that may make it easier for your loved one to fall asleep. Older pets are less likely to need to get up at night and love nothing more than a good nap.
Adopting a pet provides opportunities for mental stimulation through social interaction. Your loved one can make new friends at the dog park or even start volunteering at the local shelter. Senior pets also thrive when they receive loving human interaction.
Pets allow seniors to focus on issues other than their physical problems or negative preconceptions regarding aging. Interacting with pets may even help seniors with mild cognitive decline retain some of their memory recall. With an older pet, your loved one will know exactly what he or she is getting in terms of size, the animal will likely have a longer attention span and better impulse control, and your loved one does not have to worry as much about training.
Learn more about the benefits of pet therapy for seniors by reaching out to Lancaster Home Care Assistance. We are a leading provider of live-in and respite care, and we also offer specialized Parkinson’s, stroke, and dementia home care Lancaster seniors can rely on. Call one of our friendly Care Managers today at (717) 540-4663 to request a free in-home consultation.