Pet Adoption for Seniors – 5 Reasons to Consider It
Pets are wonderful companions. They have a way of melting our troubles and making us laugh. They have an innate ability to capture our hearts and our minds. Pet adoption for seniors could be a great way to enrich their lives, and provide health benefits to both the senior and the pet. Here are 5 reasons for seniors to consider adopting a pet.
5 Reasons – Pet Adoption for Seniors
Whether you prefer a fluffy friend, a feathery one, or a scaly one, there are many reasons to consider making a pet apart of your life.
Isolation in seniors is a very real issue that can lead to depression. More than 6.5 million American seniors are dealing with some level of depression. This depression can have both mental, physical and social impacts on seniors.
The good news is that pets are wonderful at providing purpose for our lives. They require us to think of something outside of our own despair or life issues. We are obligated to feed them and exercise them appropriately.
Science has also shown that pets increase our levels of the “love hormone” oxytocin. Put simply, pets make us feel good and have been shown to be beneficial to our health, especially for seniors experiencing physical and mental issues like depression.
While pets provide a sense of responsibility, they also provide companionship that further helps with issues of isolation and depression in seniors. What we give our pets in the form of care, they seem to repay to us tenfold. They support our emotional state. When were excited, they are excited. When were sad, they try to brighten our mood.
Studies have shown that the companionship provide by our furry friends can go as far as increasing survival rates of those suffering from coronary disease, as well as lowering blood pressure and cholesterol.
Stress and Anxiety Reduction
Pet adoption for seniors can offer a sense of calmness that can ease anxiety and provide self-confidence. Simply looking at or, better yet, petting a furry friend can make us feel less anxious and appreciate living in the moment.
Pets also provide two anxiety and stress reducing activities – touch and exercise. There is a basic human need for touch, and pets provide this therapeutic touch that lowers stress. What is even better is that pets encourage us to get out and exercise with daily walks, or even just getting outdoors.
Dogs in specific are wonderful for home security. Some home security companies agree that the bark of a dog is the number one deterrent for a burglar. Dogs are also likely to wake you up in the middle of the night should someone break in or if they hear a suspicious noise. Dogs are also likely to protect their owners at all costs.
Pets require us to get out of the house and interact with people, at least to some degree. Pet adoption for seniors can get seniors to take trips to the local pet store for food and other care products. They give seniors a reason to go visit local parks for outdoor walks. There are a host of way that pets encourage us to get out and about, and we are more likely to make friends this way. Pets provide a social bridge for us to make real human connection.
Pet Adoption For Seniors – The Risks
While the benefits of pets are great, you also need to consider the possible risks for pet adoption for seniors. Pets, specifically cats and dogs, are potential trip hazards. For seniors, the complications that can result from falls are numerous and potentially life-threatening.
You must also consider the downsides of pet ownership. Pets can come with their own potential mental issues and can place a financial strain on an elderly person’s already limited income. Most people would say that the benefits of owning a pet outweigh the risks, but making this decision is a very personal one and should not be taken too lightly.
The Senior LIFE Program – Built Around Your Life at Home
The Senior LIFE program is built around our individual members with the goal of keeping them at home. Each person receives a care plan that is made to suit their medical needs, and this care plan changes as the member’s needs change.
Our medical and supportive services include physicians and specialists, nursing care, physical, occupational and speech therapies, personal and home care, medications, meals and nutritional counseling, eye, dental and foot care, durable medical equipment and other medically necessary services.
Ultimately, Senior LIFE is a support system, not a replacement for caregivers. Dedicated caregivers play an important part in every participant’s treatment plan, and Senior LIFE can even provide some education for caregivers in matters pertaining to caring for their loved one. Though the program’s focus is on allowing seniors to remain in their homes, Senior LIFE can also help provide respite care, skilled nursing facility care, hospitalization and end of life care if needed.
Senior LIFE aims to be a “one stop shop” model of care. Most care is delivered during the day, but care is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
To enroll in Senior LIFE, seniors must be 55 years or older, live in the service area, qualify for a nursing home level of care, and be able to live safely in the community. Applying is free, and there is no obligation to enroll. To learn more about the LIFE Program, or to see if it’s the right fit for you and your loved ones, contact us today!
Senior LIFE is a Medicare Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) operating as a LIFE (Living Independence for the Elderly) program in the state of Pennsylvania.
Categories: Life at Its Fullest