Why Pets Offer Good Therapy

Mar 11th, 2010 | By Dr Jerry D Elrod | Category: Senior Moments Blog

Almost for as long as I can remember, there has been a pet or pets in our home.  After I moved away from my parents and settled in my own home, there have always been house pets.  They have been the kind who claim their space, declare their importance, nuzzle their way into your heart and take over much of the control and management of the household.

For Seniors, they are of particular worth.  Companionship  is, of course, principle among their qualities.  Folk who have had pets discover the emptiness of loneliness when living without them.  We live in a multi-generational area where there are many pets, mostly dogs, and where people take them for daily walks or runs or to specially created dog parks. It is in these settings that senior dog owners make friends with others, while the dogs hook up with others as well. 

Of special interest is the increasing amount of research looking at the benefit of having pets for senior citizens.  Such reports consistently identify the emotional and physical benefits of pet ownership for geriatric patients in nursing homes, hospitals, rehabilitation units and independent living.  Pet owners thrive to a significantly greater extent than non-pet owners.

We have two.  We have had two for years now, because they thrive on the partnership each gives the other.  Their playfulness brings sparkle into the home.  They are more than pets, they are treasures. 

Sure some inconvenience comes with caring for them, and some expense too.  But everything that offers you joy and laughter, good times and happiness does.  Living with a pet is a choice many even choose when they have moved into their “last” home. 

Dogs, cats, fish, birds (I get a little queezy about reptiles) can give you something to do and certainly a conversation starter when you have visitors.  When you are considering your disposition, consider your having a pet to go along with assisting that disposition as well.



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