Owning a pet can bring many benefits, but it can also come with challenges. For older people, it’s especially important to take into consideration all the different aspects of owning a pet in Pinellas County. Being unable to look after a pet properly can be unfair to the animal and bring stress and anxiety to the owner. When considering pets for seniors, there are some important things to think about beforehand.
Benefits of Owning a Pet for Seniors
People of all ages can benefit from having a pet. There are many reasons why each individual might choose to own a pet, and when considering pets for seniors, there are some specific advantages to having an animal around the house. Let’s consider some of the main benefits of owning a pet for seniors.
- Stress reduction: When it comes to pets for seniors, one of the main reasons for owning a pet is stress reduction. This is particularly true for older people who spend a lot of their time on their own. Having a pet such as a cat or a dog can help to reduce feelings of stress and anxiety in people of all ages, including seniors.
- Reduce feelings of loneliness: Many older people spend a large proportion of their time on their own, especially if they live alone. Although they may have visitors, many seniors feel the impact of living alone, and this can subsequently affect their mental health and overall wellbeing. A pet can reduce feelings of loneliness and make a senior person feel like they have a companion.
- Encourage physical activity: Popular pets for seniors, such as dogs, require daily physical activity. This can, in turn, encourage the owner to be more active. This can be an advantage for older people who may not otherwise have the opportunity to engage in daily exercise. It can also encourage the owner to be more active when they might otherwise choose to stay at home.
- Provides a sense of self-worth: Owning a pet can give someone a sense of purpose and self-worth. This can impact mental health and wellbeing, so it’s no surprise that many people often suggest pets for seniors in order to combat symptoms of depression and low mood. Looking after a pet can help the owner to feel like they have accomplished something within the day – an achievement that can help many seniors to increase feelings of self-esteem.
- Pets can help their owners: Some pets, in particular dogs, can provide a lot of assistance to their owners. This could be in the form of trained assistance for those who cannot fully hear or see or by alerting their owners to potential dangers inside and outside of the home.
What are Some of the Challenges of Owning a Pet?
While owning a pet brings many advantages, there is no doubt that pets for seniors can come with challenges too. There are some common challenges of owning a pet that people of all ages may encounter, but for those who are older, this may present an additional difficulty. Let’s consider some of the challenges of owning a pet.
- Required exercise: If regular exercise is required for the pet, this may pose a challenge for seniors who are less mobile and able to exercise with ease. It’s important to think about this beforehand and ensure there is extra support in place if needed.
- Cost of owning a pet: The cost of owning a pet is often a challenge for many people and could even prevent potential owners from taking on a new pet. Not all pets for seniors will come with large price tags, but there is always a cost involved.
Getting Support for Seniors
The right type of support for seniors in Pinellas County will differ between individuals. Some may require a support pet to help with loneliness, while others will benefit from hearing aids such as those from Countryside Hearing Aid Services.
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