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ElderCareAlliance | October 15, 2023
Elder Care Alliance recognizes that senior life can be intensely lonely. When you no longer have children in your home to provide companionship and conversation, the house can feel unbearably quiet and empty. That’s why many older adults decide to get one or more pets.
Dogs are particularly popular among senior adults because they are so loving and energetic. They bring life and happiness to the home and provide an excuse to get out and exercise. Cats are another popular choice for older adults because they’re calming, low-maintenance, and entertaining. Here are a few top reasons every senior adult should consider bringing a companion animal into their life.
Retired adults may no longer have the stress of a full-time job to worry about, but that doesn’t mean they don’t feel stress at all. Rising medical bills, financial challenges, and emotional ups and downs can all lead to chronic stress.
Some older adults mistakenly think that adding the care of a pet to their daily life will only increase their stress levels. But interestingly, the opposite is often the case. People with pets tend to experience less stress than people without pets. Animals seem to have a certain magic about them that melts stress away.
When you’re an empty nester, adjusting to your new normal can take time. You may feel a pervasive loneliness, especially if you’re a widow or widower. A lovable pet can provide the companionship you need to feel less alone. They can also entertain you to alleviate any boredom you might otherwise experience.
Many older adults feel vulnerable to criminals because they can no longer physically protect themselves. Having a dog in the house can offer an invaluable sense of security. Small dogs may not be the most intimidating to intruders, but they can sound the alarm if someone tries to break into your home. That way, you can call for help, escape out another door if necessary, or prepare to defend yourself. A larger dog will offer more physical protection, but its size might be too much for some seniors.
Feeling needed after all the kids are grown and gone is nice. A pet can help restore a sense of purpose because they rely on you to feed and care for them. Caring for an animal can feel empowering and purposeful for many older adults.
It’s easy to lounge in bed all day without the need to get up early and go to work or see the kids off to school. But when you have a pet, that’s not an option. Pets need to be fed regularly. Dogs also need to be let out to use the bathroom regularly. In short, pet ownership requires you to get into a routine that can help you stay motivated throughout the day.
These are just a few top benefits pet ownership can offer senior adults. Though pets require care and attention, those are small prices for the love and companionship they provide.