4 Ways Dogs and Cats Can Help Older Adults Boost Wellbeing

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Can Seniors get Benefit from Having Dogs or Cats in Scottsdale, AZ

Owning and caring for a pet can be therapeutic in many ways, and many of these benefits may be especially helpful for an elderly person. Here are some healthy advantages your senior loved one can gain from having a cat or dog in his or her life.

1. Companionship

Both cats and dogs can provide companionship for your loved one. Many seniors feel lonely due to the loss of their spouses or because family and friends have moved away, and this loneliness can lead to isolation and depression. Owning a cat or dog can give your loved one a companion to care for, talk to, and spend time with, which can decrease these feelings.

Owning a pet is just one of the many ways seniors can enjoy socialization and prevent isolation. Not every senior has the same care needs, which means they don’t all need the same type of homecare services. You can rely on Home Care Assistance to provide an individualized care plan to meet your elderly loved one’s unique care needs. Our holistic Balanced Care Method was designed to help seniors focus on healthy lifestyle habits, such as eating nutritious foods, exercising regularly, and maintaining strong social ties, and our Cognitive Therapeutics Method offers mentally stimulating activities that can stave off cognitive decline and delay the onset of dementia

2. Exercise

Having a dog means your loved one will need to go on walks once or twice a day. Walking is great exercise for seniors because it strengthens the heart, and it’s still suitable for those who have problems with their knees. A study done at Michigan State University found dog owners are 54 percent more likely to get the daily recommended amount of exercise they need. Exercise can benefit the skeletal system, increase muscular strength, and decrease the risk of heart attack and stroke.

Aging in place can present a few unique challenges for older adults. Some only require part-time assistance with exercise or meal preparation, while others are living with serious illnesses and benefit more significantly from receiving live-in care. Scottsdale, AZ, Home Care Assistance are leaders in the elderly in-home care industry for good reason. We tailor our care plans based on each senior’s individual needs, our caregivers continue to receive updated training in senior care as new developments arise, and we also offer comprehensive care for seniors with Alzheimer’s, dementia, and Parkinson’s.

3. Lower Blood Pressure

Owning a cat can boost heart health by decreasing blood pressure. A study done by researchers at the State University of New York looked at the effects petting cats had on busy stockbrokers. Participants in the study all had high blood pressure and were asked to care for cats for six months. During that time, the blood pressure of each participant decreased, falling into the normal range. High blood pressure can damage the eyes and kidneys and increase the risk of heart disease and stroke. Researchers believe petting cats helps people slow down and decrease their stress, which in turn lowers blood pressure levels.

4. Cognitive Stimulation

Both dogs and cats can keep seniors’ brains active, which can prevent dementia. Feeding, bathing, brushing, walking, and playing with a pet stimulates and exercises the brain. Additionally, many pet owners conduct their own research and study the best ways to care for their pets. This extra reading can also stimulate your loved one’s mind.

Having a pet is just one solution for keeping your loved one healthy. Seniors who want to remain healthy as they age can benefit in a variety of ways when they receive professional senior home care. Scottsdale, Arizona, Home Care Assistance is here to help your loved one accomplish daily tasks, prevent illness, and focus on living a healthier and more fulfilling life. For compassionate, reliable in-home care, trust the experienced professionals from Home Care Assistance. Reach out to one of our dedicated Care Managers today at (480) 771-2710 to learn about the high quality of our in-home care services. 

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