More and more Seniors are choosing to age-at-home these days. Staying at home is far more comfortable for some as it is familiar and feels safe. Seniors can age with dignity and avoid the hassle of moving into a nursing home or an assisted living facility.
Living at home can be made easier with the support of home healthcare including individual care with one-on-one caregivers and nurses. Services such as in home dementia care for your Senior family members are delivered right to your loved one’s door, and patients can enjoy treatment all within the safe space of their home.
Unlike a nursing home or assisted living, another advantage of continuing to live at home is that Seniors are able to keep pets 24 hours a day. Research has shown that animals provide enormous benefits to the emotional health of Seniors. The companionship that develops between an animal and its owner is extremely special. Loneliness and isolation are often felt by Seniors. But with the friendship of a dog or a cat, that lonely feeling can rapidly disappear.
Some of the benefits of owning a pet include:
- Decreased anxiety and a sense of calming from petting/stroking a pet
- Decreased blood pressure and stress
- Improved communication
- Encouragement to exercise more and to stay healthy
- Improved mood
- Improvement in cognitive functioning
- Mobility may improve with the assistance of a trained pet therapy animal
Best Pets for Seniors
Pets that don’t require a lot of maintenance are best suited for Seniors because the less that they have to clean up the better. Always remember to alert your loved one’s Caregiver of any special needs the dog, cat, bird, and so on may require.
Depending on the person, the ideal pet for Seniors is not only low maintenance but mellow and calm, as well. Cats make great companions, and there is no need for walking or taking them outdoors. Although cats can definitely be playful and a little rambunctious at times, they’re typically quite relaxed and usually sleep 12 to 16 hours a day!
They’re also incredibly friendly and are likely to follow your loved one around the house all day. All they require is a little food and a lot of love — cats are the perfect house pet.
Of course, dogs are not for everyone and depending on a person’s health issues and mobility; they’re not always the ideal pet.
However, if a big enough space and a yard are available, a small breed of dog can bring so much joy to its owner. Unlike cats, dogs love to show how much they love you at every opportunity. They are totally devoted to their owners. Dogs will give your family member so much joy, and they’ll keep them active from all the walking and running around!
Of all pets, a small aquarium of goldfish or other pet-friendly fish is the lowest maintenance of all. There is of course feeding involved, and tank maintenance is a must, but their beauty and grace are worth it. Seniors can gaze at their tropical colours and peaceful swimming patterns. They provide company as well as a way to alleviate stress and anxiety.
Bring joy to the Senior in your life and consider an at-home pet!