Pets And Seniors

Pets and seniors are, in many ways, a match made in heaven. While it's true that your elderly Mom should probably not be paired with a large energetic dog as a pet, the physical and emotional benefits of having another living thing as a companion, such as lower blood pressure, are well-known and accepted. Even robotic "pets" can be give health benefits to elderly patients, as seen in Japan following the Tsunami there. There is something about petting an animal, or talking to your dog, or cat, or parakeet - even if you know they don't really understand you (or do they?) - that is good for the soul. With many elderly people finding themselves alone for a lot of the time, physical companionship can be an anchor, giving purpose and routine to each day. There are many programs that can provide suitable shelter pets for the elderly or housebound, and while all animals require some care and attention, providing that care can be the spark of interest that keeps an older adult "in the game".

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