Pets can make wonderful companions for the elderly, especially when animals and their owners are perfectly paired, and having a canine or feline friend often provides tremendous benefits for a senior’s overall wellbeing. If your elderly loved one has been thinking about adopting a pet, Scottsdale in-home care experts want to share a few reasons why this might be a good idea.
Greater Mental Stimulation
New interests of any type can give seniors a sense of winding up rather than the opposite. In fact, many aging adults take to their pets with voracity by reading up on the specific breeds they own. Learning more about the requirements for pet care and the natural characteristics of a breed is mentally stimulating research that can support the development of new neural connections in your loved one’s brain.
Increased Sense of Purpose
After a senior’s children have all grown up and he or she has taken official leave from the traditional workforce, feelings of low self-worth can set in. People enjoy being needed by others because it builds confidence and provides a necessary sense of purpose. Gifting your loved one with a cat, dog, or other manageable pet is a great way to him or her feel both valued and vital.
Enhanced Physical Health
People tend to take better care of themselves when they know someone or something else is relying on them. Not only can a pet give your loved one a new reason for eating right and exercising more frequently, but he or she will also have a constantly present reminder for doing so. Taking a dog out for a walk or spending time playing with a cat are both adequate forms of low-impact exercise for aging adults.
Less Depression and Loneliness
Many aging adults spend a considerable amount of time in isolation. Whether they’re having an increasingly difficult time getting out or simply have fewer friends to connect with, the addition of a pet can chase away feelings of depression. Best of all, having an animal to walk and care for can help your loved one take more active involvement in his or her community, even if only to socialize with neighbors at a nearby dog park.
A Scottsdale live-in home caregiver can provide many of the same benefits for a senior’s health, albeit in a different way. At Home Care Assistance, our caregivers can provide mental and social stimulation, assist with exercise, and help with a wide array of important tasks. We also offer part-time care and comprehensive Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and stroke care for seniors who need more extensive assistance. To learn more, please call one of our friendly Care Managers at 480.448.6215 today.