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Pet Therapy and Companion Care | Elderly Care Programs

When seniors age, they are more at risk of isolation and loneliness. This might be due to various reasons, such as a death of an Elderly, children moving out, and so on. 

Thus, this is when such seniors should opt for elderly companion care in the U.K. Now, there are ways how the elderly are helped to get out of isolation and loneliness, pet therapy being one of the most common ways.

Therefore, this article is going to focus on pet therapy as part of elderly companion care, and how it can benefit the elderly.

How Pet Therapy Admire the Elderly?

Pets are a great addition to any family, and they even make the perfect companion. Whether it’s for the kids or even the seniors of the family, keeping pets has great advantages. The unconditional love and assuring energy of a pet are ideal for any individual, especially seniors. We’ve listed one of the many advantages of keeping pets for the elderly:

Health benefits

First and foremost, keeping pets has numerous health advantages that are ideal for seniors. Because of the intriguing health benefits, pet therapy has, numerous hospitals are now introducing pet therapy in order to boost a patient’s wellbeing, and they’ve been quite successful too.

Firstly, pets help reduce loneliness, which helps to prevent depression

Secondly, because of the calming effect of pets, they significantly reduce an individual’s blood pressure, cholesterol, as well as heart rate. 

Thus, this means that having a furry friend at home will definitely reduce the risk of a potential heart attack in the near future!

A great Combination of companionship

As seniors age, their social circle gets much smaller with time, due to various reasons. Therefore, they are more at risk of loneliness and isolation. Because of this, they often give up hobbies and cannot do things that they first used to, such as going for walks or attending social events. 

The elderly can spend their time with their pets and even share whatever they want that they couldn’t share with anyone else. Plus, they’re even up for a cuddle on the sofa whenever you’d want. Therefore, keeping a pet is a great form of daily companionship.

Moreover, having pets is also a great pastime, and also helps prevent loneliness. Also, keeping a dog is quite good for a senior’s health as dogs require walks every day, and the elderly themselves will have to take a stroll as well. 

This will, thus, ensure an active lifestyle. If we talk about cats, however, as a pet, they can also be a calming and relaxing form of companions. Whatever pet one picks, they are a great form of the company nevertheless.

Helps with daily routines

When we keep pets, they become part of our daily lives. In most cases, most people don’t feel the need to leave their house as they have a furry little friend behind alone at home. This might be due to feeding the pet at fixed times and also looking after them. 

Therefore, because of this reason, the elderly can take their pet along with them wherever they go. Whether it’s to fetch a few groceries from the local store, a walk in the neighborhood, the pet will be a great form of company. Because the pet will be part of the senior’s daily routine, they won’t necessarily be feeling lonely as they used to before.

A great form of social interaction

Seniors are more at risk of isolation due to minimized socialization. Only getting out of their homes was not enough for a conversation starter. Thus, with keeping a pet (dogs in most cases), you would have the responsibility of taking it on walks and strolls in the park. 

If you walk the dog every day, in most cases, you’ll encounter and come across numerous people. This might be because they’re either fascinated by your dog, or they want to socialize with someone like their own. Therefore, keeping a pet is definitely a great conversation starter!

Sense of responsibility

Seniors need that sense of responsibility in their life. This is because as seniors age, they feel less important, and think they are not needed around. 

This is quite de-motivating, and could negatively impact an elderly’s emotional and mental wellbeing. However, when an elderly will keep a pet, they will have a sense of responsibility, as they will be responsible for feeding it, grooming it, taking it to regular vet appointments, and basically looking after it. 

Therefore, with these responsibilities and an important to-do list every day, a senior will feel more purposeful.

Improves wellbeing

Because having a pet has a calming and relaxing effect, it can positively impact a senior’s emotional and mental well-being. It is said that seniors who own pets visit the doctor less often, and also suffer from less stress. Moreover, having pets also greatly reduces anxiety and depression in seniors as well because of the non-judgemental and gentle relationship formed, which is important for their overall wellbeing.

Moreover, keeping a pet will definitely help the senior relax. Even stroking a cat or simply watching fish swim around in a small tank will help eradicate all the worries and stress they might have.

Mental simulation

Pets definitely give mental stimulation to their owners. Having a lack of stimulation often leads to decreased mental sharpness. Therefore, being in contact with an animal greatly stimulates memories as the senior compares that current animal to past pets.

Make the elderly feel safe

One of the main reasons why seniors are not encouraged to go out alone is, because of their naive and gullible nature, they may be easy targets for robberies or snatchers. However, when walking a dog, this will rarely happen. Dogs, as well as other pets, are a great form of security, and will definitely look after their senior owner, especially when outdoors. 

Also, pets are excellent guard dogs for the home. These furry creatures will protect the seniors at all times.