6 Reasons Why Your Older Loved Ones Should Adopt a Pet

February 27, 2017

As an individual age, they become more prone to developing several health problems. One of them is Alzheimer’s, a type of dementia that affects a person’s memory and behavior. Battling this condition is challenging and patients often hire dementia caregivers in Chicago, or anywhere in the US, so that a professional can help them maintain a happy and healthy life without living in a nursing facility.

Living with a medical problem like dementia can be difficult. But if your aging parents have not encountered any complications like this, don’t be so complacent. Instead, look for ways to keep them as healthy as possible in order to avoid developing diseases. For instance, you can get them a pet. Adopting a cute puppy or kitten will help enhance your parent’s health. Just look at their numerous benefits below!

Encourages a More Active Lifestyle

According to Dr. Yasmine Ali, president of Nashville Preventive Cardiology, PLLC, pet owners are generally more active compared to individuals who do not have a pet. Also, a research published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine states that people with pets spend more hours walking than individuals without dogs or cats. As a matter of fact, pet owners spend an average of 2.2 hours per week walking more than those who do not have pets. Some even became more active just to match the exercise that their beloved pets need. This means that by owning a canine companion, your parents can achieve a more active lifestyle.

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Offers Emotional Support

Unfortunately, older people are more likely to become depressed. Often, they feel left behind, disregarded, and unappreciated, making them feel down. Avoid this from happening to your aging loved ones by getting them a furry companion. Although pets may not be able to talk, they have their own ways of showing support, acceptance, love, and camaraderie. This can be very helpful for aging individuals, especially if they are depressed.

Improves Cardiovascular Health

A research, which has been done by The American Journal of Cardiology, shows that dog owners are four times less likely to die of a heart attack – a data that has been supported by the American Heart Association. Caring for a pet can also lower your loved one’s cholesterol levels and blood pressure, lowering the probability of them suffering from diseases such as heart attack.

Provides Companionship

Companionship is another thing a pet can offer your elderly loved one. It can especially help fill the void caused by the loss of their friend or spouse. It can even help them meet new people, especially other pet owners. Conversing with these individuals will be easier for them especially since they already have a common ground – their pets.

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Helps in Controlling Weight

As mentioned above, pet owners are more likely to live an active lifestyle, especially since they need to help their pets exercise. This means that if your loved ones decide to adopt a furry companion, then they will be less likely to become obese. It does not matter whether it is a cat or a dog – either of them will be able to help improve lower their owners’ body mass index.

Establish a Routine

Establishing a routine can be helpful for most people, particularly those suffering from dementia. If your loved ones are dealing with this health problem, then adopting a pet will be beneficial for them. Why? Because caring for a pet is a somewhat huge responsibility; pet owners usually develop a daily structure so they won’t forget essential things like feeding their pets and taking them to walks. This means that by taking care of any animal of their choice, they can easily establish a routine that will not only allow them to care for their pet efficiently, but deal from dementia as well.

Taking care of pets is definitely beneficial for older people. However, make sure to consult your loved ones first regarding the matter. After all, you wouldn’t want to surprise them with a pet only to have them reject the cute pooch in the end.

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