As we each age, there are different challenges that we will face. Many of these can be helped by having a dog. Dogs are a great addition to the family. As you continue reading this blog from Fluent Woof, you will learn more about the benefits of dogs for seniors.
As people age, they often feel more isolated and lonely. Whether they’ve lost a life partner or have become homebound, seniors can have a sense of being closed off from society. Owning a canine companion can help older individuals avoid depression and feel more socially connected.
Seniors can still feel isolated even if they join a retirement or senior living community. Getting a dog to care for helps foster friendships with their fellow residents.
Caring For a Dog Gives a Sense of Purpose
When a senior has a dog to care for, the daily tasks of feeding, watering, and playing with their four-footed companion provides routine and purpose.
Promotes Living in the Present
Having a dog or other pet helps keep seniors focused on today. After all, furbabies live in the present. Interacting with a canine companion can help keep seniors from worrying about an unknown future or dwelling on the past.
Increases Mobility and Independence
When seniors live alone, they may become less mobile. Pets can help motivate elderly individuals to get up and moving every day. A service or companion animal may also aid people with hearing loss by signaling when the phone or doorbell rings or if an alarm sounds. This allows impaired seniors to maintain their independence longer.
Dogs Keep Them Active
Dogs need to go for walks every day. As seniors bond with their special pals, they often take longer and more frequent strolls to enjoy the companionship. A 2016 study from the University of Missouri linked bonding with a dog to more frequent activity and a string of social and physical benefits.
Dogs may help reduce stress and anxiety for people with Alzheimer’s. Pups can also be trained to distract and redirect their owners’ focus when the person becomes agitated. Other valuable services for seniors with these conditions include preventing the patients from wandering away from home, guide their owners through daily routines, and support their balance.
Help People With Parkinson’s
A service dog can be a helpful partner for a senior with Parkinson’s. These pooches are trained to assist their owners with balance and walking and help them get up from a chair or after a fall. When the patient stumbles, the pup can also alert other family members. Of course, having a dog also keeps their humans moving, and exercise can benefit people suffering from Parkinson’s.
As life expectancy increases, more seniors are showing signs of decline in memory and cognitive abilities. Service dogs can be trained to assist individuals in the early and middle stages of dementia. Pups thrive on routine and can help their elderly caregivers remember things like medication and mealtimes. As walking companions, they can also lead their humans home so that they don’t become lost.