Community Blog

What You Should Know About Seniors and Pets

By Patti Soisson

Did you know that pets have been shown to have a positive effect on mental and physical health? This is important for providers of senior in-home care to know. In fact, an observational study tested the theory that “pets are good for your health” by analyzing associations between pet ownership and overall health in seniors. The study revealed that senior pet owners had significantly lower serum triglycerides than those who did not own animals. Senior dog owners also walked significantly more than those who did not own dogs.


Another study reveals that seniors have an improved ability to perform activities of daily living when they have a pet. Having a pet also increases their likelihood of enjoying an improved level of life satisfaction. This information reveals that pet ownership can be a beneficial part of in-home care and may help seniors maintain better physical and mental health. Here are a few additional things you should know about seniors and pets.


  1. Pets Are Like Children

Animals are much more precious than mere belongings to seniors. For many seniors, animal companions are members of the family and are just as valued as children. It is important to keep this in mind when providing senior care to those who have one or more pets.


  1. Pets Provide Companionship

Not all seniors have a strong support group, and for some, animals may provide their main source of companionship. As a caregiver, it is important to keep this in mind and be very sensitive to the need for seniors to have access to their furry companions as frequently as possible.


  1. Pets Give Seniors a Purpose

It is much easier for seniors to remain invested in life when they have one or more pets to care for. Seniors who feel useful are more likely to stay active and motivated. A pet provides and requires daily engagement and gives seniors an opportunity to get out of the house more frequently. Animals can also make seniors feel more confident when approaching or being approached by visitors. Seniors who take care of another living being often feel greater satisfaction in their daily lives.


  1. Pets Provide Routine

It can be hard for seniors to maintain a daily routine, especially if they feel like there is not much going on their lives. Since animals must be fed, walked, groomed and cleaned up after on a regular basis, pet-owning seniors often find it easier to establish and maintain a regular routine.


Make Pets an Important Part of Senior Care

Whether you are a caregiver for a senior who has a pet or you are considering becoming a caregiver, you can learn more about providing quality senior care by contacting Home Helpers®.