Has your senior parent or loved one receiving home care been longing for a dog? Maybe you are thinking that it would be a big expense, cause a lot of work, or that it wouldn’t be worth it.
There’s no doubt that a pet costs money and takes time, but for some seniors at home, the benefits of owning a dog may outweigh any of the downsides you may be thinking of.
1. Give them purpose
Sometimes, for aging adults that are receiving home care, life can seem dull and the days can blend causing them to begin feeling isolated or alone. Having a dog that requires love and care can give your senior parent or loved one a purpose, or a job that they can look forward to each day. On the days when they might not want to do anything, they will know that they have a buddy that depends on them for food and water, and attention that they need and deserve.
2. Lift their mood
Having a dog can help reduce stress hormones and boost hormones that make you feel happy. If your senior parent or loved one is feeling sad, stressed, tense, or upset, just being with their dog may help them feel better and boost their mood. A dog can offer constant companionship to keep them company and keep their bed warm on days or nights that they are feeling lonely.
3. Keep them active
Seniors who have dogs may be more likely to get out and take walks and get up and out of their chair or bed, keeping both them and their furry friends healthy and happy. Exercise is important, and if having a dog gets your senior motivated to get out of their home and be active, that’s a good place to start.
4. Offer protection
Many seniors who are receiving home care spend some of the time alone, either after caregivers or family members are gone for the day or during times before they arrive. Having a dog with them at the house can offer protection as dogs tend to bark as a warning to ward off any potential intruders or people who may not have the best intentions.
5. Health reasons
Studies have shown that people that live alone with a dog had an 11% lower risk of having a heart attack than single people who did not own a dog, and that dog owners had a lower risk of death due to heart disease.
If your senior has been wanting a dog as a companion, consider these options before choosing a furry friend for them. A better mood, a more active lifestyle, a purpose for living, and an increase in their health are all wonderful reasons to think about getting them a dog.