Community Blog

Exploring the Benefits of Pet Ownership for Your Loved One During Adopt a Dog Month

By Michael Hagman, RN, BSN

Senior Care in Three Forks MT

October is Adopt a Dog Month. This is the ideal opportunity for you to learn more about the ways that having a furry companion can improve your parent’s life, and the ways that you can prepare your parent and their home for welcoming such a friend. There are many studies that have shown the potential benefits that your parent can gain simply by spending time with a pet. Understanding these benefits will help you to determine if adopting a dog is the right choice for your aging parent.

Some of the potential benefits of pet ownership that your parent can gain include:

• Reduced loneliness and isolation. Loneliness and isolation are common issues of older adulthood. When your aging parent suffers from these issues they are at higher risk of suffering from depression, anxiety, and other complications. A pet offers companionship that reduces your parent’s experience of these issues and protects their mental and emotional health.

• Create and maintain a routine. Routine and predictability are important concepts for older adults. This helps to keep them more active and help prevent complacency and boredom. Having a pet creates a routine for your parent and encourages them to maintain this routine. This supports a more active, engaged, and productive mind and a stronger, healthier body.

• Reduced stress. Stress can be extremely damaging to your parent’s mental, emotional, and even physical health. Taking care of a pet is a fabulous way to reduce stress. Studies have shown that seniors who own pet show less stress, are better able to manage stress, and exhibit fewer damaging effects of stress than those older adults who do not have pets. This can result in lower blood pressure, improved cardiovascular health, and reduced risk of such health emergencies as stroke and heart attack as well as better digestive health and less fatigue.

• Sense of security. Many elderly adults cope with a sense of fear or nervousness when they are living alone. This can be particularly true for those who have recently lost their partner and are living alone for the first time. Having a dog can give them a greater sense of security and safety, no matter what size or type of dog. Just knowing that there is another creature in the home, and hearing it bark if people approach the home, can create a greater sense of security, control, and protection for better quality of life.

If you are looking for ways to encourage your parent to live a healthier, more fulfilling, and more enjoyable quality of life, now may be the ideal time for you to consider starting senior care for them. A senior home care services provider can be with your elderly loved one on the schedule that is right for them and for you to ensure that your aging parent receives the care, support, assistance, and encouragement that they need. This not only helps your parent to manage a more independent lifestyle that allows them to handle more of their own tasks and maintain an engaged, active quality of mental well-being, but can ease your caregiver stress as well.

If you or an aging loved one are considering hiring senior care in Three Forks, MT, contact the caring staff at Home Helpers. Call today (406) 438-2231.