Many Americans love their pets as much as they love family members, but the bond between man and animal goes back several thousands of years. We initially relied on dogs in our hunting and gathering days, and cats were also capable hunters and pest exterminators themselves. Birds were smaller pets that could also hunt pests, but their songs livened many darkened moods in the days before recorded music. These days, there are medical benefits to having a pet that should be considered as well. As science continues to study the benefits of pets for the elderly new information becomes available every day of how these animals can help to keep seniors healthier, happier, and generally more in touch with the world around them.
Pet therapy for the elderly can help to reduce the symptoms of dementia, increase awareness, and generally keep the elderly in the right state of mind when facing serious conditions and medical treatment. Pets for seniors can also help them to feel connected to a living, breathing being that can express emotion, compassion, and so much more. Other benefits of pets for the elderly can include keeping the elderly active, as the care of a dog or cat can give a senior a reason to stand up, go out for a walk, or generally just care for the pet in question. The benefits of pets for the elderly are often that they help us to feel human again.
Pets for elderly patients and individuals can have a positive impact on the lives of both the pets themselves and their elderly caretakers. Pets and the elderly work well in different environments and under different circumstances; a single pet may be cared for by a wing in a nursing community, for example, while others may choose an individual pet and owner relationship. Both can provide great benefits of pets for the elderly that should not be ignored. Whether you have someone in your life that is currently older and could use a companion, or you are a senior yourself and have been searching for ways to liven your day, benefits of pets for the elderly are documented and understood as a positive medical and mental treatment. Pets and elderly patients work together well, and with time and training, the pet can even assist an elderly patient in the same ways we have relied on these animals in years passed.