They’re always happy to see you. They’re content to lay by your side for hours. They’ll listen to anything you want to say (or sing). Who are we talking about? Pets, of course! If you’ve ever had a pet, you understand how fulfilling it can be to care for an animal companion. In your sunset years, you might find that your beloved dog or cat brings you more joy than ever. Scroll down to explore the many benefits of pets for seniors.
Benefits of Pets for Seniors
A pet can act as a constant companion, staying with you through thick and thin. You can talk to your pet, joke around with your pet, and even confide your fears and worries without risk of judgment. In this way, pets can reduce feelings of isolation and loneliness. According to a poll of pet owners ages 50-80, approximately 88 percent said that their pets helped them enjoy life and 86 percent said their pets helped them feel loved.
Depending on the type of animal, caring for a pet may encourage you to be more active in your day-to-day life. Fish and cats may not need walks around the block, but your dog likely won’t be pleased if you sit around the house all day. If you want to provide your dog with the physical activity he or she needs to be happy and healthy, you’ll inevitably exercise more yourself. It’s a win-win!
Sense of Purpose
Sometimes in their senior years, people will feel a loss of purpose because they’re no longer working or raising a family. Caring for a pet can provide a sense of purpose, and sometimes even a greater sense of self-worth. That said, caring for a pet is a huge responsibility. If you want to experience some of the benefits of pets for seniors but you don’t have a pet of your own, consider volunteering with a pet shelter or inviting a therapy dog to visit your community. You could also consider adopting a pet that requires less maintenance, such as a fish.
Having a routine can help you predict and plan for your day, which can help you feel comfortable, safe, and stable. When you have a pet, their needs can help establish your daily routine. For example, dogs typically require at least two meals per day, exercise, playtime, and bathroom breaks. Incorporating your pet’s needs into your schedule can give your day direction and order.
According to researchers, simply petting a dog or cat for 10 minutes can provide stress relief. Interacting with pets can have a significant impact on cortisol, a major stress hormone. So if you’ve been feeling a bit stressed out or down in the dumps, spend a little time in the company of your favorite furry friend.
Speaking of friends, some pets can also increase social interaction and help you make new human friends. While a fish or hamster won’t do much this in regard, dogs are ideal if you’re looking to make new friends. They require exercise outdoors and they naturally attract people, making for great conversation starters. Both you and your dog can make new human and canine friends at your local park or dog run.
Are you hoping to retire in Florida with your pet at your side? The Beach House in Jacksonville, Florida, could be the ideal place. We offer a specialized pet care package to assist residents that would like to bring their pet to live with them. The care package includes feeding and giving water to the pet, taking care of the litter box for cats, walking dogs, playtime, and routine grooming.
Additionally, the Beach House offers an exceptional location less than a mile from the Atlantic Ocean and near numerous restaurants, shops, museums, a golf course, and more. Our friendly and compassionate staff members offer individualized care 24/7, ensuring the safety, security, and happiness of all residents. The Beach House provides assisted living, memory care, and respite care, and we tailor these services to suit the unique needs of each resident. To learn more about our amenities or schedule a tour, please contact us online or give us a call at 904-615-8076. We look forward to hearing from you!