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7 Reasons Why Pets Are Great for Seniors

Pets of havenwood heritage

Kay Amsden and Mary Lou Fuller with their dog, Little Man

For people of all ages, pets bring joy, companionship and love. Medical experts tell us that pets provide many health benefits, including lowering the risk of allergies and asthma in children, reducing depression and boosting heart health.

At Havenwood Heritage Heights, we see evidence every day that pets benefit seniors in multiple ways. Here are some of the perks of pet ownership as noted by the experts — and as verified by our residents and their four-legged friends.

  1. They’re Great Companions

For some seniors, loneliness can be a serious problem and can lead to depression and other health issues. Your pet will adore you unconditionally, and he’s always on your schedule. He’s never grumpy or too busy to provide love and affection. Small dogs, especially, make great travel companions.

  1. They Help Us Make New Friends

If you’re interested in having more friends of the human variety, your pet can help with that, too. Choose among any number of activities for pet owners, from charity events to time at the dog park to group walks. Pets serve as fantastic icebreakers for kicking off new friendships.

  1. They Relieve Stress

Seniors with pets show fewer signs of stress than do seniors without pets. Whether through their constant attention and affection, their need for frequent walks in nature, or the hilarious antics in which they engage, pets have a seemingly magical ability to help cure stress.

  1. They Broaden Our Horizons

Having a pet can encourage you to get involved in activities you might not otherwise consider. For example, some seniors begin volunteering with their pets in hospitals and nursing facilities after going through the appropriate training together.

  1. They Can Improve Our Health

According to the Centers for Disease Control, pets can lower levels of cholesterol and triglycerides, reduce blood pressure and help combat feelings of loneliness that can lead to isolation and depression. They also boost health by increasing opportunities for outdoor exercise and by providing us with more chances for engaging with others. Medical experts also tell us that pet ownership can help seniors fight memory loss and keep the focus off physical problems.

  1. They Get Us Out of the House

Pets certainly provide an advantage in keeping their owners moving. Physical exercise boosts our health in many ways as we age, but the benefits of leaving the house go beyond keeping muscles and bones strong. Staying involved in social activities and running errands related to a pet can help keep many seniors engaged with life.

  1. They Need Us as Much as We Need Them

In so many ways, seniors benefit from having pets. The animals benefit, too, by finding a forever home with a loving, patient and kind senior. If you feel that a pet could bring you joy — and vice versa — please consider adopting from a shelter or other rescue group in your area.  We welcome furry friends in our pet friendly retirement community!