Interaction with pets may benefit seniors

Published Mar 25, 2018 at 9:00am

We all know how happy having a pet or even just being around animals can make us feel.

They make us smile and laugh and they are there to comfort us when we are upset or sick. They are also beneficial to our health, both physical and emotional.

Here are some ways that Interaction with animals can benefit seniors.

They encourage increased physical activity. Seniors get more exercise by taking a dog for a walk outside or playing with a dog or cat inside. These activities provide much needed physical exercise, which helps to improve their mobility.

They provide emotional support and boost their health because they show unconditional love and affection. Which are things that many elderly people are missing in their lives. Pets generate good feelings that improve their mood, reduce stress, anxiety, and depression and ease loneliness. The simple act of holding and petting animals has been proven to lower blood pressure.

They provide companionship and give them purpose. Having a cat to cuddle on their lap, or a dog to curl up at their feet can make a world of difference in the daily life of an elderly person.

Many assisted living communities understand the benefit of animals for seniors. Many have live-in dogs and cats who socialize with the residents. Some also may allow seniors to bring their own pets. Also many have therapy animals that are brought in to visit with the residents.

If you are considering adopting a four legged companion for your home the Humane Society of Rome has some wonderful dogs and cats who would be happy to become a member of your family. A couple of these sweet animals who would make great companions are: 

Trace is a 5-year-old male, American Bulldog/Pit Bull Terrier Mix. He loves to play catch with extra strong and sturdy balls. Tennis balls don’t stand a chance. He is a very friendly boy and loves people.

He would be best with adults, children make him nervous and sometimes they can play a little rough, which he doesn’t understand. Won’t you come down to the shelter and visit with him. He loves having his back scratched and will let you know by actually talking while you do it.

Khloe is a pretty 8-year-old female cat. She’s a quiet kitty so she prefers a quiet home with no dogs or small children. She doesn’t mind other cats. Mostly she likes to sleep in her cat bed a lot. But she does like to be pet and sit on your lap.

Come in and meet this gorgeous cat who would love to get out of the shelter and into her new home soon.