With the holidays fast approaching, many of us are searching for ideas for the perfect gift for a senior loved one. One option to give some serious consideration to is stopping by the local animal shelter for a companion. Pet owners will tell you that pet ownership improves their quality of life, but did you know that owning a pet is good for your health and can improve your longevity too? There are numerous studies associated with pet ownership and the facts are hard to dispute. The Arizona home health care experts at Nightingale Homecare share some of the top benefits a pet can offer:
- Owning a pet can boost mental health by decreasing stress, anxiety, depression and loneliness. Those of us who own pets know full well the exuberant reaction we receive when we return home, making us feel like a rock star. Imagine what this outpouring of unconditional love and devotion could do for your loved one who lives alone?
- Lower blood pressure is another documented advantage pet owners have in common, notes the CDC. Consider getting your loved one a pet if he or she has hypertension. This relates back to the stress reduction pet owners experience from just having their pet nearby.
- Many pet owners experience a reduction in pain by being in the company of their pet. The results are real; in fact, one study from Loyola University revealed that patients participating in pet therapy required far less pain medication than their post-surgical counterparts who did not participate in pet therapy.
- Lower cholesterol is yet another perk of pet ownership, according to the CDC. This is especially true of men who own pets. It wasn’t clear from the study if the lower cholesterol and triglycerides were a result of just owning the pet, or if the pet encouraged a healthier lifestyle in the study participants, thus lowering cholesterol levels.
- Pets can also help monitor your chronic health condition. The American Diabetes Association did a study in the 90s and discovered that pets, mostly dogs, would change their behavior when their owners had a drop in blood glucose levels. Other anecdotal reports outline how pets’ behavior would change when other undetectable changes in the owner’s health condition existed, alerting the owner and avoiding a potential health risk.
- Numerous other studies have found that recovery from stroke, heart attack and surgery are significantly reduced when patients own a pet. Not only that, but pet owners live longer, and happier lives!
If you are debating whether or not to give your senior loved one a pet, and are concerned that he or she may not be able to manage the pet’s care, entrust Nightingale Homecare to aid in that effort! Our Arizona home health care professionals can provide transportation for seniors who want to visit the animal shelter and choose a pet, run errands to pick up pet food and other necessities, help with pet care services such as feeding, exercising, cleaning and changing litter boxes, etc., along with our full range of senior in-home care services. Contact us at (602) 504-1555 to learn more!