How Older Adults Can Benefit From Spending Time with Pets

Americans Are Losing to Loneliness

More and more people are becoming socially isolated these days. You will be surprised to find out that one out of every five Americans is reported to feel lonely and isolated. This issue is especially prevalent in older adults. According to studies, close to forty-three percent of adults above the age of sixty-five feel this way. There are several ways to combat this problem. Forming a routine, incorporating healthy activities like sports or reading are great ways to keep the brain occupied. However, this mostly works on younger people and rarely works for elders.

Fighting Loneliness with a Pet

A New Lease on Life for the Elderly

Recent surveys conducted by reputable organizations cited that owning a pet later on in life may help elders feel less lonely. In fact, some elders, who adopted pets, even cited that they felt like they had a new lease on life. Human beings are prone to conflicts, even in petty situations. Their arguments and conflicts can break relationships, which impacts elders negatively. Pet ownership, on the other hand, brings unconditional love from animals. Comfort and company are also some perks of owning pets. Several elders who introduced pets to their lives claimed that it added a sense of purpose, relieved stress, and even motivated them to exercise.

A Wave of Positive Energy

According to some surveys, time spent with animals reinforces positive feelings in elders. This is why local parks, pet-friendly shelters, and animal shelters allow pets to interact with people. It gives older adults a chance to pass the time with positive energy while socializing with others as well. The director of HABRI (Human Animal Bond Research Institute), Steve Feldman, claims that physical health is also positively impacted due to time spent with animals. He cited that pet interaction is strongly connected to heart health. Pet owners usually have lower blood pressure and reduced stress levels, especially because of regular exercise. Some heart attack patients have even shown rapid recovery after they interacted with pets. 

Tolerance to Discomfort 

The outreach coordinator and communication specialist of Pet Partners Elizabeth Van Every said that elders have increased tolerance to discomfort when they are treated for diseases like cancer. The positive feelings from interacting with pets help them to recover quickly. You will be surprised to see how much of a difference an interaction of just thirty minutes can make in the lives of the elderly.

Final Thoughts

Keeping the health benefits aside, animals are perfect companions for elders since they prefer to age at the same place. More than eighty percent of adult pet owners refused to move to senior communities without their pet’s company. 

Today, you have plenty of organizations that help adults determine what kind of interaction would suit them best. Nonetheless, by bringing a pet to their lives, adults can turn things around and never feel lonely for the rest of their lives. 

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