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How Pets Help The Elderly

companionship for seniors

How do pets help the elderly?  By giving unconditional love and acceptance recipients get a daily dose of vitamin P.  Have you had your vitamin P today?  P stands for pets and their healing power.  New vitamin helps us live longer, prevent heart attacks, and cure depression and is not hard to swallow!  – According to an article by Dr. M. Hyman.

Pet owners appear to live longer, healthier more independent lives linked to multiple health benefits. Just as yoga and meditation provide stress relief evident in:

  • lower blood pressure
  • lower cholesterol and triglycerides
  • reduced irregular heartbeats
  • improved blood vessel function

Having a pet can also give the above benefits plus:

  • increase physical activity
  • decrease depression
  • improve alertness
  • boost self-esteem
  • increase longevity after heart attacks

On a less dramatic scale just walking a dog is good for your health because you have to spend time outdoors.  In fact, pet owners spend 1.5 hours outdoors daily plus pets are conversation starters with other pet owners and neighbors passing by.  

It warms the heart to receive unconditional love.  Your dog will greet you with enthusiasm every time you walk through the door no matter what kind of day you’ve had.  In the US there are more pets than children: 78 million dogs and 86 million cats per household according to the Human Society.  For the elderly who have perhaps raised children who can be adorable, pets don’t talk back or ask for money.

My husband’s mother, Theresa loved her little dog(s) and they loved her.  When she took her dog for a walk, children would come running, calling the dog by name asking to play with the dog.  Neighbors would chat and exchange greetings which kept her social and active for a very long time.  She was able to live independently with minimal home in home care until the age of 90. Even while in assisted living until the age of 92, her favorite dog was brought to visit which cheered her immensely.

Numerous studies, including those funded by the National Institute of Health, show that dogs can provide better social support and stress relief than even our friends and family can offer.  Other studies show that cats, caged birds, and even fish can provide a connection to the outside world especially craved by those with limited mobility.  

For your loved one, only the best care can mean finding the right in home health care today where pets can stay as part of a healthy lifestyle.  Fedelta even offers pet care along with its comprehensive services.

by Christine Meinhart

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