Posted on: 24 June 2015
As you help your parent prepare to move to an assisted living center, you may want to think about getting a pet for your parent if he or she does not currently have one. Pets are great for companionship, but they are also good for many other reasons. Even though assisted living centers help seniors feel less lonely, choosing a facility that offers pets may be even more beneficial for your parent than you would think. Here are two big reasons you should consider finding an assisted living community that allows pets.
Companionship, Sense of Worth, and Better Mental Health
Having a pet can help a senior feel happier, healthier, and more secure. A pet often provides the companionship a senior needs, and it can motivate a senior to stay more active. When a person pets a cat or dog, it can actually be soothing and can reduce stress. Cats and dogs are both great pets for seniors; however, dogs may require more work because they have to go outside for potty purposes.
If your parent is feeling lonely living alone, he or she is bound to feel less lonely living in an assisted living facility. These communities are full of other seniors in similar situations, which means there will always be people around for your parent to communicate with. Adding a pet to this equation could improve it even more.
Your parent might be proud to show off his or her pet to other residents living there or to nurses that work there. This can help improve a person's self-worth, which may help him or her in other areas of life too.
Studies also show that pet owners may have a decreased chance of falling into depression and other mental health disorders. Pets are simple, loyal, and loving. When your parent has his or her own pet, it could really make a difference with the way he or she feels about life. It may even give your parent hope and something to look forward to each day.
Improved Physical Health
A lot of research has been conducted to find the correlations between pets and health. Most of the research finds that having a pet actually helps a person's health improve. There are numerous ways this occurs, and there are several key benefits pets offer to seniors, including:
- Decreased risk of heart problems – Many studies show that when seniors have pets, their chances of developing heart problems are much lower. One of the reasons this correlation exists is because talking to a pet can actually lower blood pressure. When blood pressure stays low, it reduces the risks of heart problems.
- Lower cholesterol levels – A second positive health effect your parent may experience from having a pet is lower cholesterol levels. While there may be several reasons this happens, one of the most common reasons is because having a pet causes a person to be more active. Staying active, walking, and exercising are all great ways to reduce cholesterol levels.
- Weight control – If your parent is more active because of his or her pet, he or she may have an easier time maintaining the correct weight.
These are a few of the positive health effects offered by having a pet. If you want your parent to be as healthy as possible, you may want to look into getting a pet for him or her.
There are many assisted living facilities around, and they do not all allow pets, but some do. If you feel that your parent would really benefit from having a pet, look for an assisted living community that allows the residents to have pets. Contact local assisted living senior care centers to learn more about their policies.Share