The role of pets in the lives of the elderly is particularly important for those who live or receive care in a nursing home. Numerous studies have demonstrated that pets are one of the few interventions that lift the atmosphere of hospitals and nursing homes permanently.
Despite this evidence, a lot of homes still don't allow pets, and many in the community are seriously concerned by the fear of giving up their animal companions. Pet ownership provides many benefits to seniors still living in their own homes, including social support and increased levels of activity.
If you have been fortunate enough to have a pet, you know what happiness they are able to bring. They help you smile, listen, and feel relaxed. However, they can provide more than just moral assistance. Animals can play an important part in the health and well-being of older people; pet ownership can be part of a treatment plan for seniors. An animal companion can even calm conditions not eased by medication. Having said that, it is imperative to do ample research on pets to find out things like are dogs colour blind.
Here are a few important ways in which pets can support elders both mentally and physically:
Help in Recovery
While there is little evidence that animals can improve the physical conditions of people, they can have a considerable impact on people's emotional welfare. This alone can contribute to faster physical healing, perhaps after a fall, surgery, or infection.
Many hospitals allow animals to visit patients, recognizing the emotional benefits they can bring. Research by the University of Loyola showed that seniors having pets require slightly fewer medications than others during the process of healing.
Senior citizens could have moved from their homes to a nursing center, get separated from their friends and family, or may have lost a loved one. Therefore, it is reasonable that from time to time, many older people feel lonely.
Animals can be a great help in the fight against loneliness with their unconditional love. Some care homes even have special sessions, which bring friendly pets and make people's lives so happy. With 40% of elderly people saying that they are frequently lonely, a family animal or pet may be a great relief.
Elevate the mood
In addition to seniors being alone, there are other issues they face. They could have pain or distress, can’t do things they did once, lost those who were dear to them, or even be considering the next stages of their own lives.
As a consequence, the elderly may feel discontented or even discouraged. Depression may have several negative health effects on an individual. It may even lead to inactivity. However, if an animal is around, it can be hard to feel low, be it a dog wagging his tail, a parrot, or a kitten purring.
Having pet portraits in the home can also help people recollect all the beautiful memories with their pets, which can help lift their mood. CanvasPop helps you to attach a photograph or an illustration with the face of your pet in the center of the frame. It can be easy to give up as you get older, but owning a pet can give older people a new meaning. Having a pet can help older people get up in the morning and take care of themselves, because they have someone else who believes in them now, someone that needs food, water, caring, and affection.
Reduce Blood Pressure
Several studies have found that possession of pets can reduce blood pressure and tension. For certain cases, it became much more beneficial to pet an animal than many traditional anti-hypertension medications, for example, Lisinopril. The American Heart Association found that pet-owners have less blood pressure than non-pet owners, and have smaller heart rate fluctuations.
Many seniors can have trouble interacting with people or may be intimidated being around others. A pet can encourage us to relax, to loosen up, to be more conscious, and to communicate honestly to others. Being about to communicate is extremely important for interaction with physicians, nurses, caretakers, and other medical professionals.
It may be disturbing, particularly at night, for older adults who live alone. Elderly citizens still feel insecure, even though they stay in a home that is physically protected. A pet, whether a cat, dog, or buddy, sometimes gives an extra feeling of safety because they won't feel alone.
Remain physically engaged
There are physical benefits as well as many emotional advantages of being around animals. Animals like dogs must have a walk regularly, which gives the elderly person a reason to keep themselves active. Increased exercise from dogs is related to a lower body mass index and obesity rate, and fewer clinic visits. Of course, this is an important first step to consider, as dogs can be a great deal of hard work, especially bigger breeds.
Special therapy dogs, especially in the home, can be a major help when people get older. For disabled people, dogs can help them collect things, or help them with walking. Therapy dogs can also assist with accidents, for example, a spill. A trained dog will get the phone or seek support.