Pets can be wonderful therapy, both mentally and physically, for many seniors. A study in the Journal of American Geriatrics indicates that seniors living on their own who have pets tend to have better physical health and mental well-being than those who don’t. They tend to be more active, cope better with stress, have shorter hospital stays and less health care costs. Some other health benefits seem to be lower blood pressure, reduced bone loss, lower cholesterol levels and improved blood circulation.
The unconditional love and commitment a pet shows its owner is like free therapy!! So, we should look at trying to help seniors keep their pets as they both age. Suggestions would be to contact local veterinaries and see if they have any volunteers that could assist. Other sources are students at veterinary schools, neighbors, church youth, scouts or even enlisting a paid caregiver. Caregivers can assist both the senior and their pet, giving peace of mind to their family. Contact www.homeinstead.com for more information.