It’s a well-known fact that owning a pet can be good for companionship, but it can also be good for your health. Recent studies have proven that companion animals can help improve our physical and mental health. Lowered anxiety and stress, lower blood pressure and stable heart rate are three health benefits that pets can give their owners.
Most pet owners are young children and their families, and pets have been known to enrich their lives – but they can also be very helpful in assisting the elderly. Pets have been proven to help elderly owners extend their lives, stay healthier and avoid stressful situations. Studies from the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society compared independent seniors with and without pets, and the senior citizens with pets proved to be stronger physically and mentally. Thanks to their pets, they live less stress lives and are more physically active and happier.
Owning a pet and maintaining it can seem like a lot of hard work for some of us. However, when a pet owner takes the time out to actually take care of his or her pet, including the usual maintenance, feeding, bathing and walking, these activities lead to a reduction in anxiety, tension and blood pressure, a reduction in heart rate and the proper release of beta-endorphins in one’s body. Taking care of your pets in the simplest ways can be a workout of sorts, improving heart rate and keeping your joints flexible and mobile by performing actions like changing your pet’s water or opening the pet door to let your pet dog in or out. It may not be a real workout, but it helps pet owners stay healthy.
Of course, a lot of a pet’s benefits cannot be seen by the naked eye. Having a pet around the house allows for companionship for the owner, love and affection, and a play companion in the absence of children. Pets can step up to the plate as well for older pet owners without close family relatives or friends. When faced with a tough emotional situation, pet owners can turn to their pets for additional support. For those living alone by choice or by fate and for elderly folks in nursing homes, pets can provide much-needed social protection.
Pets are ideal companions for older people, as they provide support, keep them motivated and interested in living their lives to the fullest, and allow them to take care of routines like buying groceries or simply leaving the house. Indeed, pets’ interactions with elders are a great help to their physical health while at the same time keeping them stress-free.