Pets and Seniors: The Benefits of Pets for Seniors

When someone begins to age, many aspects of their lives are changed completely. The physical and cognitive declines associated with aging makes life, as many know it, much harder to live as we once did. But there are things that we can do for ourselves or the seniors in our lives that can really improve their quality of life, and even improve their health. Take, for example, getting a dog or a cat for the senior in your life.

It is important that only seniors who are capable of managing the needs of a pet will take that kind of responsibility. Animals can do a great many things for seniors, but it is imperative that they are given proper care as well. Dogs and cats make great companions for seniors and can add a sense of purpose, vibrancy and wellbeing in the lives of those who have them. If you have a senior in your life, consider getting them a pet, doing so can dramatically improve their quality of life and mood too.

  • Gives senior something to love. As people begin to age, their children leave the house and start families of their own. Friends and other loved ones may also begin to pass. For many seniors, family was their purpose in life, and when their families move on, and start their own, and they can no longer manage in the ways they could in their younger years, many feel lost. Animals provide and want unconditional love. For the senior who has an empty nest, a pet can mean the world. It gives the senior something to love, something to care for and a sweet face that wants nothing but love from them. The connection between humans and their animals is very strong and this bond can dramatically improve the quality of a senior’s life.
  • Helps keep mind off negative things. Especially when a senior begins to become advanced in years, when they have begun to lose friends, family and loved ones, life can start to feel a bit morbid. If one has health problems, it can be hard to stop dwelling on them. It can seem that death and ill health begin to define the senior. Having a pet is a wonderful distraction and a very positive impact on the life of a senior. A puppy or a kitten is a reminder of youth, a reminder of love and joy. They want love, need to be cared for, want to play, and these things all require time. This is time spent on something positive, as opposed to focusing on the negative.
  • Provides the senior with a being that is reliant upon them. For      many seniors, roles are changed when their children no longer rely on them for their daily wellbeing. Even harder for the senior is the need for help themselves. It can make them feel helpless and as though nobody needs them for anything. With a pet, the animal needs the senior to provide for all their needs, making them feel useful and the gratification of having a living being that needs you for their survival.
  • Fights loneliness. Many seniors report feeling lonely as years goes by and this can lead to depression as well. If their spouse has passed, or if their children and grandchildren do not live close by, or if they have lost friends, the senior can easily begin to feel as though they are alone in the world. Having a pet provides a companion, someone to love, talk to, play with and care about. They are there with the senior at all times, and most of them constantly want attention. This gives the senior something to look forward to, an animal that wants to be around them all the time, an animal that can make them smile and help make their days a little bit happier.
  • Can improve health. It has been shown that people with pets live longer. Seniors with pets tend to have fewer health problems, and it also helps reduce the likelihood of depression. 

At Carefect Homecare Services, we understand that the needs of seniors go well beyond just basic care. We know that animals are like family members and can add immense joy to a senior’s life. We encourage animals for seniors in any case where the senior can properly care for the animal. For seniors, quality of life is incredibly important, and giving them something to love and wake up for can do immense wonders. We can provide services that assist seniors in caring for their four-legged friends, as well as make recommendations for those considering an animal for the senior in their life.