The Healing Power of Pets for Seniors

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The saying “a dog is a man’s best friend” has been proven time and time again. We often hear stories of dedicated pets that were loving companions to children growing up or helpful aids to disabled individuals. However, we often overlook the healing power of pets for elderly adults. At Columbus Home Care Assistance, we encourage our senior clients to have pets, knowing that pets often enhance the lives of their owners.

Some benefits of pets for seniors include:

  • Unwavering companionship – Seniors who experience the major and inevitable changes that occur with age, such as the loss of a loved one, often find comfort in a pet. In these situations, pets offer unwavering companionship and unconditional love which can help combat feelings of loneliness and even depression.
  • Reestablished sense of purpose – Many seniors fear they will no longer be needed and they question their worth as an elderly adult. Because pets depend on their owners for care and attention, they are a great way to help seniors reestablish their sense of purpose. Studies have even reported improved alertness in seniors who care for a pet.
  • Enhanced mood – Pets are friends who amuse seniors, make them laugh and help enhance their overall morale and mood. Happy pet owners are also more likely to be interested in their surroundings and maintaining social connections with friends and others in the community.
  • Improved physical activity – Pets, especially dogs, require their owners to be active. Whether it is playing with a pet or taking them for a walk around the neighborhood, pets help their senior owners remain active as they age.

While pets offer many benefits for seniors, they are not the ideal option for every senior. Before getting a pet, is important to consider your health, your ability to care for a pet and your financial situation. If you feel you are able to care for a pet, be sure you get one that is age appropriate, healthy and has a good temperament.

If you or your aging parent or loved one is lonely or bored, consider the companionship services from Home Care Assistance. For as little as three hours a day, a caregiver can come to the home of a senior and help with daily activities and also offer companionship. For more about hourly home care in Columbus, click here. If you have any additional questions about home care services, contact a Care Manager at 614-481-8888.


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