There are many benefits of pets for the elderly, and pet therapy for the elderly and disabled is becoming very popular in certain spheres. Pets for elderly inpatients, nursing home residents, shutins, or assisted living residents can provide a sense of joy and need that elderly people often lack. Especially when seniors are institutionalized because their families cannot or will not care for them, they are often plagued by loneliness and feelings of being unwanted and unnecessary. By bringing in pets for seniors in homes to play with or take care of, it allows the elderly to feel that they have a sense of purpose and to give them a pastime and the ability to create a relationship with another living being.
The relationship between pets and elderly does more than fulfill a relational necessity, as pets for elderly rehab patients or handicapped individuals can be trained to assist in simple daily activities, just like guide dogs for the blind. There are some pets that are trained for simple activities, such as leading the adult through a crowded store, and some can be trained to help with other daily activities, such as turning on lights and retrieving medication. Many studies show that these relationships between pets and elderly patients can not only fulfill physical and emotional needs, but that these pets for elderly people can help to alleviate some chronic health problems such as depression, high blood pressure, and more.