Like all of us, elderly people have some basic needs that help them lead a comfortable and peaceful life. They need love, companionship and friendship in the golden years of their life. But for most of them, their loved ones may not be near them to fulfill these needs. For such senior citizens, having a pet is a great way to enjoy the companionship they need.
Pets help elderly people to enjoy companionship
Pets can help senior citizens to overcome many of the challenges of daily living, such as loneliness, illness and restricted movement. Some of them cannot even continue with hobbies they have developed over the years. The love and friendship of a pet is extremely valuable in such times because they offer the warmth and unconditional love that makes elderly people look forward to each day. Elderly people can visit any good pet shop Abu Dhabi to get a pet according to the lifestyle and needs.
Having a pet is good for seniors’ health
From a health perspective, having a pet around is known to have positive effects on mental and physical health. Elderly people who own pets report fewer blood pressure problems and even fewer episodes of anxiety and depression. Recovery from illness is also faster for those people who own a pet than for those who do not. Having a pet requires senior citizens to be more active which leads to better heart health and muscle strength.
By interacting with pets through grooming, exercise and play, elderly people stay physically fit and mentally alert. They experience more happiness and emotional satisfaction, while also feeling safe in their homes. Overall stress levels are reduced and they feel more engaged with the outside world.
Pets help owners lead an active lifestyle
Simple activities of pet care like cleaning and grooming them, feeding them and taking them out for walks can lead to more physical activity and social interaction. Pets help elderly people to come out of their isolation and get some fresh air. They develop a sense of responsibility since they are the primary caregivers and guardians of their pets.
Also, because owners feel responsible for taking good care of their pets, this acts as a motivating force for them to look after themselves as well. They may be more attentive to following a proper routine, stocking up on food, and going out for walks every day. This restores their sense of self-worth because they know that their animal needs them to be present and active.
Owning a pet entails some costs
While enjoying these benefits, elderly pet owners need to bear a few things in mind when getting a pet. Taking care of a pet entails some costs such as food, securing the environment and medical bills. They need to keep their budgets under control so that they have enough funds to meet the needs of their pets. They should also ensure that if they get an active pet like a dog, then they should also have the resources to provide them the exercise and activity they need in order to stay healthy.
Owners need to create a safe environment
The physical environment should be secured so that the pets do not get in the way, causing their elderly owners to trip and suffer a fall. Any pet toys should be stored in their proper place instead of lying all over the floor.
Moreover, since elderly people have weaker immune systems, they are likely to catch diseases or allergies from their pets. They should have a plan in place for someone to look after their pet in case they fall sick or need to be hospitalized. Such emergency contacts might include a neighbor, friend or family member.
Another challenge with owning a pet is that it can tie one down to their home. Traveling to meet distant family and friends can be difficult if you have to carry your pet with you. Not everyone has access to a pet-sitter all the time.
Overcoming the death of a pet
Finally, elderly pet owners must confront the inevitability of losing their pets. One may lose them due to old age, disease or an accident. For a senior citizen, this can be a huge loss and it might take a while for them to recover from this loss. Getting another pet can often help the healing process. So a visit to the local shelter is a good option. It is better to get young pets that are medically examined and potty trained as this prevents the owners from going through a lot of trouble.