Studies have shown that owning a pet can be physically and mentally beneficial for people of all ages, but especially seniors. In the case of senior citizens, “just 15 minutes bonding with an animal sets off a chemical chain reaction in the brain, lowering levels of the fight-or-flight hormone, cortisol, and increasing production of the feel-good hormone serotonin. The result: heart rate, blood pressure and stress levels immediately drop. Over the long term, pet and human interactions can lower cholesterol levels, fight depression and may even help protect against heart disease and stroke”.(Byrne, 2015)
If you are mostly immobile, a cat may be the best option for you because you don’t have to walk them. A small dog that uses pee pads or a caged animal may also be a good option. Senior dogs and cats are better for the elderly because they are more calm, quiet, and less maintenance is needed. Be sure to have the pet checked out by a veterinarian before bringing your forever friend home. A pre-existing illness or disease could drain your bank account. For those seniors who specifically want a dog, there are many reasons to be weary of jumping into pet adoption too quickly. The lack of mobility and inability to drive to and from the vet, groomer, or pet store worries them. The initial costs are usually high. They also worry that if and when there comes a point when they can no longer care for the dog, that the dog might be taken to a shelter and eventually euthanized. Many seniors feel like their worsening health condition is a burden, and a pet might possibly add to that.
There are many reasons for adopting a pet. From companionship to security, pets can provide seniors a better quality of life and improve overall health. Finding the right pet for you or your family member is easy, and the benefits can be far-reaching. #LakesLiving