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The Healing Power of Pets for Elderly People

Posted March 28a-pet.jpg

 

Many elderly pet owners either live alone or in group facilities. For these people,pets can help reduce stress, lower blood pressure, increase social interaction and physical activity and help them learn.  Picking up a book to learn more about your pet can be both educational and stimulating.

Dogs as well as other pets live in the “here and now;”  with no worries about tomorrow. We all know “tomorrow” can be very scary for many older persons. Just “having an animal with that sense of now, tends to rub off on people” says Jay P. Granat, a New Jersey psychotherapist.

Aside from easing tensions and worries, pets can reduce depression and help lessen loneliness and isolation, a common problem shared by many seniors. “Pets also provide seniors with something other than physical problems and negative preoccupations about loss and aging,” according to Psychologist, Penny B. Donnenfeld. 

Not only do seniors benefit from having pets, the pets benefit as well. These pets go from the poun to paradise.  Most of the adopters are retired, have lots of time to devote to a previously unwanted pet, offering love and companionship to the dog. 

There are many things to consider when purchasing a pet for their senior parent: 

  • Right pet for the right owner
  • Are you too set in your ways?
  • Ever had a pet before?
  • Do you have any disabilities?
  • Do you need a therapy pet?
  • IS the pet the right age?
  • Does the pet have a good temperament
  • Is the pet healthy
  • One pet or two?
  • Are finances an issue?
  • Where to find the pet? 

While breeders are a good source, some shelters provide a pet for much less and offer the advantage of rescuing it from being euthanized. There are also programs that allow seniors to buy pets for a reduced cost.  Shelter employees are also capable of making a good match between pets and owners  they know the pets personality.

 Resource: Agingcare.com

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