The benefits of pets for the aged

Pet owners will be able to tell you how important their animal companions are to their family as well as their everyday lives. There is no doubt pets provide great companionship as well as bring joy in our everyday lives. 

Animals give us a sense of purpose and meaning as well as teach us to be compassionate and affectionate. While all age groups enjoy pets, they are especially helpful for people aged 60 and above as they offer an enriching overall health and wellness experience. 

Pet therapy is used in many nursing homes to brighten up their days as well as keep their residents active and on their feet. Geriatric experts often talk about how pets are able to optimise older adults’ physical and psychological health and we couldn’t agree more with them. 

So, here are some of the benefits pets to the elderly.

  1. Health and wellness 

The human and animal connection is mutually beneficial but it is extra helpful for certain elderly folks who suffer from heart conditions. Some studies have shown that pet owners have lower systolic blood pressure & cholesterol and a healthier response to stress, which in turn helps with a healthy cardiovascular system.

2. Offer a good routine 

A dog is the most common pet for the elder, so a trained fur buddy will be able to set a proper routine for a senior who lives alone. If you are worried your loved one may be sitting around and doing nothing, a pet will definitely provide a structured daily lifestyle. 

3. Great companionship 

Often loneliness sets in for older adults when their children or relatives are at work or out and about with their daily lives. One way to make these seniors feel wanted and reduce any feelings of isolation is with a pet. 

4. Active lifestyle 

With a pet dog, one will be forced to go out and take the dog for a walk. In turn, they too will be able to lead an active lifestyle as it makes them perform some form of physical activity. On top of that, they will also be able to socialise with other pet owners and form new connections. 

If your loved one lives in a nursing home, suggest if that nursing home can come up with a pet therapy program. Or try it out for yourself at home and see the changes in your senior loved one’s life. 

Visit our nursing home in Ipoh to find out how we conduct our pet therapy program and you will also be able to say hi to our visiting dogs, Anya and Bruno.