Most people love their pets completely. They’ve been bringing joy to people’s lives for thousands of years. But for elderly people, pets often play a much more valuable role.
It has been well documented that pets provide an extra set of therapeutic benefits to the elderly population. For example, loneliness is widespread among the elderly and the presence of pets can significantly alleviate this feeling. Ownership of pets can even enhance opportunities for exercise and socialization, which are key elements to a healthy and enriching lifestyle. In addition, pets can decrease blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and triglyceride levels. These all contribute to a longer, more enjoyable life.
Pets are truly great for the soul because they offer unconditional love. They offer a real sense of worth and purpose and even provide security and protection to their owners. Studies have revealed that more than 95 percent of the elderly pet owners spent some time each day talking to their pets. The same study found that approximately 82 percent of the elderly felt that owning a pet lifted their spirits when they were sad.
Pets Encourage Exercise and Socialization
Two important components of a vigorously healthy lifestyle include exercise and socialization. Owning a pet can improve both areas for the elderly. Pets provide a reason for the elderly to get up early in the morning for a walk. It is a fact that dog owners spend more time walking than those who do not own pets. Walking outside can deter stress because people with pets are approached more frequently, increasing the odds of making new friends or even finding a new date along the way. This type of social interaction is very important. Being connected to others does wonders for our overall well-being.
They Lower Our Blood Pressure
Believe it or not, but pets control blood pressure more effectively than any medicine. In a famous study involving hypertensive New York stockbrokers, those stockbrokers who were given dogs or cats were found to have significantly lower blood pressure than those who did not get pets. The elderly too can enjoy lower blood pressure with the presence of a pet. Medical research has shown that elderly pet owners have lower cholesterol and blood triglyceride levels than non-pet owners. Elderly pet owners can expect 21 percent fewer visits to the doctor, which is truly remarkable.
Dogs Can Reduce Effects of Alzheimer’s
Alzheimer’s patients can also benefit greatly from pets. Research from the University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Nursing revealed that dogs can help Alzheimer’s patients obtain relief from sundown syndrome. This syndrome causes restlessness, confusion, and aggressive behavior.
Pet therapy allows the elderly to maintain a vigorously healthy life. Pets can alleviate loneliness and stress while enhancing opportunities for exercise and socialization, which are key to a healthy lifestyle. Pets are more effective than even drugs to keep blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and blood triglyceride levels in check. Alzheimer patients have been shown to benefit mightily with the presence of pets. So it is not just unconditional love that pets bring into our lives after-all.