As the number of senior citizens in the U.S. increases, a question being asked by many is what can we do to improve their quality of life? It is well-known that many seniors live alone in their home, and because of physical limitations, are unable to maintain their home in a clean and comfortable manner.
The physical limitations that many seniors have are often a result of physical ailments like arthritis and poor eyesight. However, a new study shows that there is another ailment that also affects seniors, and that is loneliness.
Loneliness in Seniors
Loneliness in seniors can have a negative psychological and physical effect on the senior. In fact, a study has shown that loneliness and social isolation are linked to a wide range of health problems such as Alzheimer’s disease, depression, and heart disease.
What Can Be Done?
The study found that social activity and companionship were protective factors against mortality in seniors. But for seniors who do suffer from loneliness, what can be done to improve their quality of life? One option is to bring a pet into the home.
For seniors who have a pet, loneliness is less likely to be an issue. Pet owners are less likely to be lonely than people who don’t have a pet. In addition, a study has shown that pet owners have a lower mortality rate than non-pet owners.
Pets in Elder Care
For seniors who don’t have a pet, bringing one into the home can be a great way to alleviate loneliness. In addition, seniors who bring a pet into their home can benefit from the companionship a pet provides.
According to the NIH, an animal can lower blood pressure, and it can be helpful in treating a range of psychological problems. Studies have shown that pets can improve social skills and self-esteem for children, as well as provide seniors with a way to stay active and healthy.
How to Find the Right Pet for a Senior
When you are looking for a pet for your senior loved one, you will need to consider a few things. First, you will need to consider the type of pet that offers the most benefits. Dogs are the most popular choice for seniors, but if your loved one is unable to take care of a dog, they can also choose a cat. If they live alone, they may even be able to find happiness with a bird or fish.
However, you will also need to consider the needs of your senior. For example, if they are unable to take care of a pet, they may be better off with a fish than a dog.
It is no secret that pets can be great companions. Not only do they offer entertainment and social contact, but they can also improve your senior’s quality of life. Pets can provide a sense of purpose, as they need care and attention.
Pets help to ease loneliness, and they can also provide mental stimulation. Finally, pets can also provide emotional support. The benefits of owning a pet aren’t limited to physical benefits-animal companionship can also improve the quality of life for seniors in elder care.
If you or an aging loved-one is considering Elder Care in Lake Oswego, OR please contact the caring staff at Home Matters Caregiving today. 503-352-5634