Dogs are amazing companions because they love unconditionally and inspire action. However, many older dogs are overlooked by families looking for puppies. In many communities, there’s been a big focus on matching senior dogs with elderly adults for a mutually beneficial and happy relationship.
Why Dogs Are Perfect for Seniors
Elderly adults have a lot of challenges to deal with. They often struggle with health issues and a real change of lifestyle that leaves them dependent on family caregivers and elderly care providers. Because they aren’t as mobile as they used to be, they are frequently lonely and isolated from others. They miss social events and may even have lost spouses, friends and siblings.
Seniors are more likely to develop depression due to isolation. Even though there are people around, like neighbors, family members, and elderly care providers, they really need a companion to bond and interact with. All the dogs want is someone to care for them, and elderly adults that have a lot of time on their hands are the perfect owners.
Dogs Are Good for Senior Health
Studies show that seniors with dogs or cats feel better, exercise more and visit the doctor less than those who don’t have a pet. Interacting with dogs can reduce stress, lower blood pressure, loosen tight muscles and even help minimize chronic pain. Dogs also motivate their owners to get moving, because they need exercise, grooming, and food. Of course, daily walks are very important for both seniors and dogs.
An elderly person’s mental health will also get a boost when a dog comes into their life. It can be very lonely for many seniors, but with a loving dog as a companion, there’s always someone to interact with. Dogs also provide an opportunity for elderly adults to nurture and protect someone, even if they are being cared for by family caregivers and elderly care providers. After all, they’ve spent a lifetime working, caring for family members and engaging in hobbies. In their senior years, much of that end and they feel left out. This means seniors can feel useless and overlooked, but with a dog to care for, they can find a renewed purpose.
Family caregivers should take a good look at their elderly relative’s situation to ensure that adopting a dog would be a good fit. If there’s already an elderly care provider, they can add pet are to their other duties like laundry, housekeeping, and companionship. Whatever obstacles the household faces can be easily remedied, and the elderly adult and new dog can start their amazing relationship.