Senior adults face a range of challenges, including loneliness and health concerns. An emotional support pet can offer seniors many benefits that go far beyond enjoying spending time with a furry friend. If you have a senior loved one in your life, read on to discover some of the key benefits that an emotional support pet can provide. These animals can help the elderly in a variety of ways so they can live a more fulfilling life in their golden years.
A Reduction in Stress and Anxiety
It’s not uncommon for seniors to experience high levels of stress, depression, or anxiety. Loneliness can often be the catalyst that worsens these conditions, but an emotional support pet provides seniors with a companion that offers a calming presence. Scientific research shows that having a pet or an animal companion may help to lower blood pressure and promote feelings of calm. Offering the companionship of an emotional support pet to a senior can help them feel less alone and provide them with feelings of happiness and belonging. Whether it’s a Corgi or a cat, these animals can make senior adults feel happier and more comfortable in their surroundings.
Opportunities for Exercise
Exercise is a vital part of a healthy life, particularly for seniors. Things like moving to a smaller home can limit their ability to exercise accordingly. When senior adults have an emotional support pet, they’ll be more motivated to move. From taking the dog for a walk to playing with a new kitten, these animals can awaken a senior’s desire to get more exercise. Even something as simple as letting a dog outside to go to the bathroom can be beneficial since seniors will need to move around to do so. Having these animals in tow is a great way to encourage seniors to get more exercise and, hopefully, spend more time outdoors too.
A Chance to Care for Others
Many seniors feel a void as they age, whether from empty nest syndrome or from simply learning how to live alone. With help from an emotional support pet, seniors will have something to care for while they develop new routines. From taking the dog to the vet to feeding a new animal each day, these tasks give seniors a sense of purpose. The chance to take care of another living thing can be quite a fulfilling experience. In addition to their new role, seniors will also form a new bond with their emotional support animal. This can be highly beneficial to their mental health and may help seniors regain a positive outlook on life.
Improvements in Memory
Caring for an emotional support pet requires the ability to remember a wide range of important tasks. When seniors start and stick to a new routine, it can show a marked improvement in their memory. Working with an emotional support pet can revitalize the mind and create new neural pathways. Learning how to make lists and sticking to a set of tasks each day is a good way for older adults to keep their minds active. In turn, this may help them in other ways, including better memory retention. It might also help them get inspired to work on new projects or try something new, which can also positively affect the mind and its memory capabilities.
Loneliness is one of the leading causes of senior mental health decline. An emotional support pet opens the door for seniors to meet other like-minded pet owners. Whether it’s chatting with the neighbors while walking the dog or meeting new friends at the local dog park, pets have an incredible ability to help us expand our social horizons. Eventually, seniors will meet new people to whom they can relate. They might even start their own dog-walking club or plan to meet new friends where their pets can play while they chat and catch up.
There are so many benefits for seniors who have an emotional support pet, from reducing stress and loneliness to improving memory and exercise. If your senior loved one needs a companion, consider giving them the friendship and companionship of an emotional support pet today.
January 30th, 2022 by