Today, many senior living facilities permit cats, dogs, fish, and other pets. For many seniors that live alone, having a pet can provide a plethora of health benefits. Pets can create a sense of companionship, minimize feelings of loneliness, and motivate seniors to stay active. Learn more about how pets can impact the health of seniors.
Companionship in senior living communities chicago is undoubtedly one of the best reasons for seniors to get a pet. For many seniors transitioning to senior housing, living alone can get lonely. Without outside support, this loneliness can soon turn into depression. Pets, especially cats and dogs, tend to have lovable personalities that make them the perfect animal companion.
With a pooch living in your home, you’re bound to get more exercise. From daily walks to games of fetch, dogs are a great way for the elderly to get more exercise into their day. Seniors should opt for smaller dogs that will be easier to walk and care for, or dogs that have been trained to assist the elderly.
While retirement should be stress-free, many seniors suffer from stress for a wide range of reasons. Pets can help reduce a stress hormone in the body called cortisol. It can also boost a “feel good” hormone known as serotonin. Pets can also be useful for people with Alzheimer’s and other dementias during bouts of stress or agitation.
Dogs are not only good at bringing joy to their owners, but can also protect them. Seniors are a vulnerable target for various crimes, such as burglary. A barking dog can help deter potential home invasions, giving you some peace of mind.
Pets can help increase social interaction for seniors who typically wouldn’t venture out on their own. Bring your pooch to the park, on a walk, or to the vet. This exposes the elderly to other people, which can spark conversations and even friendships.
Of course, choosing the right pet is extremely important to reap the bulk of these benefits. You’ll want to consider the responsibilities that come along with pet ownership, such as feeding, walking, and bathroom breaks. Pets may also make noises and messes on occasion. If you feel capable of caring for a pet, visit an animal shelter or pet shop and meet the potential candidates. If you’re not ready for a cat or dog, consider a pet that requires a little less care, such as a bird, hamster or fish.