9 Reasons Every Senior Should Consider a Pet 

November 10, 2016








There’s never a better time to consider a pet companion than in our senior years. Study after study has shown countless benefits seniors gain from animal companions.  If something is missing in your loved one’s life, a new furry friend may be just the prescription for better health and frame of mind!     

  • Reduces Stress and Anxiety – What could be more calming than a warm fuzzy friend?  Studies have shown that simply petting your cat or dog can help reduce stress and improve mental well-being.  In other words, hanging out with our best friends make us happier! 
  • Staying active – People with pets, especially dogs, are more physically active and less obese than those without.  Whether it’s daily walks, playing or just taking care of them, pets keep us moving! 
  • Getting outside – Many pets need some outside time, which gets seniors out into the fresh air and moving around.  This helps lift our spirits and feel “more alive”, reducing the risk of depression or isolation.   
  • Improves Health – Less stress and more activity results in better heart health and lower blood pressure.  People with pets have been shown to have significantly fewer cardiac issues and a better survival rate than those without.   
  • Socialization – Pets are “people magnets” and everyone wants to say hi when you’re strolling with your little friend.  This results in more active social engagement, new connections and improved mental wellness. 
  • Fights Depression and Isolation – They’re a companion, best friend and family member all rolled into a fuzzy package of happiness.  For many seniors, animal friends are their sole form of companionship.  Having a pal to take care of, talk to, and spend time with provides a sense of purpose or connection and improves mental well being.     
  • They Pick Us Up When We’re Down – Illness and health issues are part of aging.  Whether you’re recovering from a stroke or just a little under the weather, nothing is more comforting than having your best friend by your side.  Pets help to keep us calm and provide support while we rebuild our strength during recovery.      
  • Cognitive and Mental Health Benefits – Almost all of the previous points are shown to individually improve brain health and decrease the risk of dementia.  It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to make the connection between furry companions and maintaining brain health!   
  • Quality of Life – Nothing is perfect, but when you’re more active, healthier, and less stressed, life is better!  With all the benefits animal companions provide it’s no surprise that their people tend to live longer, happier and more fulfilled lives!  

While an animal companion isn’t the complete solution for everyone, many of us can benefit from having a furry pal in our lives. Just remember, along with the benefits there is also a lot of responsibility so careful consideration should be taken to ensure compatibility and care arrangements.  Once you’ve decided to move forward, the MyCareMatch.com Team recommends adopting from a local rescue shelter to provide the gift of a home to a friend that will give you the gift of unconditional love for a lifetime.   

About the Author

Doug Breuer is co-founder of MyCareMatch.com and has worked in senior care for the last 9 years for the State of Oregon. From investigating cases of elder abuse to managing the delivery of long term care to residents of Central Oregon, Doug has been involved in all aspects of senior care.

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