Thinking of owning a pet? There are a range of benefits to be had for the elderly (and other people) from owning a pet. So, read on to find out how you or someone you care about, would benefit from a four-legged friend.
First and foremost, pets provide company. So if you live alone, you needn’t feel lonely if you have a pet. They won’t replace human company, but they will provide a better quality of life.
Secondly, meeting the needs of your pet can motivate you to get up in the morning and give shape to your day. Walking, feeding and grooming provide a routine over the course of the day and hence a sense of purpose.
Having a dog can act as a great ice breaker. In the course of taking your dog out for a walk in your local park, you are likely to meet other dog owners and may well get into a conversation with other people too.
By meeting the needs of your pet and taking regular walks for instance, you are likely to become more active too, keeping you more mobile, agile and flexible, meaning you’ll reap the benefits of becoming fitter.
More positive mood
Becoming more active is also likely to encourage a more positive outlook on life, helping you to feel happier. In addition, research by the Uppsala University in Sweden has found that interaction between humans and animals releases a hormone called oxytocin, which helps to relieve anxiety (in the animal as well as the human). This probably explains why we all feel so much better when we pet a dog or stroke a cat.
Regular exercise, such as walking a dog, has been proven to have various health benefits from lowering blood pressure to reducing the likelihood of you suffering from a heart attack, a stroke and some types of cancer.
A sharper mind
Gentle, regular exercise, such as walking a dog, has also been linked to having a sharper mind, cutting the chances of dementia. Memory and thinking skills are improved by exercise, as it’s thought that exercise improves the flow of blood to the brain. Moreover, whatever the age you take up exercise, these benefits are available to you.
The benefits of pets
Ultimately, animals and older people can help each other, together leading happier and more fulfilled lives in each other’s company. The benefits to be had from the elderly having a pet are varied and numerous, from providing a purpose in life to improved fitness, a more positive outlook on life, company and less social isolation. There are few things you could provide for an older person that would provide so many benefits.
If you are interested in working in the domiciliary and residential care sector or need to recruit a carer, then contact Employ Social Care. We have over twenty years’ experience recruiting in the care sector, so contact us today.