January is Train Your Dog Month, which means it’s a fantastic time for seniors to consider adopting a dog. Having a pet has a lot of benefits for seniors that are living independently. Seniors with pets face a lower risk of heart disease and other physical ailments. And, having a pet can lower a senior’s risk of developing depression, loneliness, and anxiety too.
Often seniors don’t think about having pets because they are worried that they won’t be able to physically take care of a pet. That is a valid concern, but home care assistance can help. When seniors that are living independently have home care assistance they will have a reliable person who can help with pet care, shopping, and taking the pet to the vet.
Consider all of these benefits that seniors can get from owning a dog, then pick a day to visit the local ASPCA or Humane Society to see if your senior parent finds a furry friend:
Around The Clock Companionship
Dogs are loyal, loving, and fantastic companions. Loneliness and isolation are problems for seniors that get worse with age. And loneliness and isolation can increase the risks of seniors developing serious illnesses. Having a canine companion can provide seniors with the companionship they need to be healthy.
Seniors who have dogs are more active than seniors who don’t have dogs. Daily walks, playtime, and general care responsibilities ensure that seniors are moving every day. Doctors consistently tells seniors that if they want to be healthy as they age they need to be active. Walking a dog, going to the dog park, and just having a dog around will encourage seniors to be more active.
Routine and Structure
Dogs thrive on routine, and caring for a pet introduces structure into a senior’s daily life. Establishing a regular schedule for feeding, walks, and playtime provides seniors with a sense of purpose and responsibility. Having a purpose is essential for seniors who are living alone. When seniors know their dog is depending on them they are more motivated to be active and stick to a schedule.
Playing with a dog stimulates cognitive functions. Seniors will enjoy brain health when they are getting daily cognitive challenges from playing with and caring for a dog.
Reduced Stress and Anxiety
The calming presence of a dog has been proven to reduce stress and anxiety levels. The act of petting a dog releases oxytocin, a hormone associated with bonding and stress reduction. This can have a positive impact on mental health, helping seniors manage daily stressors more effectively.
Walking a dog or visiting dog parks offers social interaction, fostering connections with other pet owners and providing seniors opportunities for conversations and new friendships. Social interaction is essential for a senior’s mental and physical health. And dogs serve as wonderful conversation starters.
Dogs often serve as loyal protectors and can provide a sense of security for seniors living alone. The presence of a dog can deter anyone that has crime on their minds or someone that thinks a senior living alone might be an easy target.
Dogs are known for their unconditional love and non-judgmental nature. For seniors who may be dealing with feelings of loss, grief, or loneliness, the companionship of a dog can offer unwavering emotional support, creating a deep and meaningful bond.
Purpose and Responsibility
Caring for a dog gives seniors a sense of purpose and responsibility. Having a living being that relies on them for care and attention can bring a renewed sense of vitality and meaning to their lives.
If you or an aging loved one are considering Home Care Assistance in San Diego, CA please contact the caring staff at La Jolla Nurses Homecare today.
Call (858) 454-9339
La Jolla Nurses Homecare is a top provider of Home Care Assistance services in San Diego, La Jolla, Rancho Santa Fe, Del Mar, Solana Beach, Encinitas, Carmel Valley, Point Loma, Bankers Hill, Mission Hills, Kensington, Coronado, University City, Pacific Beach, and all of San Diego County.
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