The relationship between people and animals has been a positive and influential relationship throughout history. To own an animal is to have an extension to the family and a reason for many older people to live with purpose & well-being.
Studies highlight the importance of the human-animal bond and the increasing evidence of the health and social benefits of companion animals.
Physical & Emotional Impact
Recent IFA (International Federation of Aging) research focused on companion animals and their effect on the health of older persons. Some of the most interesting facts to come of this research was the benefits older people received from living at home with a pet. These benefits included:
- Positive community connections
- Interaction with neighbours and general communication
- Self-awareness of personal care and hygiene
- Reduced stress levels
- Physical exercise through dog walking
- Less GP and hospital referrals
- Reduced agitation and aggression with those living with Dementia
- Reduced depression and loneliness
In Support of Loneliness
The Society for Companion Animal Studies (SCAS) explains that a much-loved animal is an effective antidote to loneliness, which can be one of the most destructive aspects of life in older age. Caring for a pet provides structure to the day and also facilitates social contact. Whether that be walking a dog, shopping for pet food, it is easy for neighbours and passers-by to chat with people about their pets.
One of the most challenging situations facing older people who own pets is moving into sheltered accommodation or residential care. The issue of pet ownership and leaving home can become a distressing problem which can then lead to many other health concerns. This stress can be avoided as the trend to remain living at home with care continues against the old style care institutes of yesterday.
The Empowerment of Live in Care
There may come a time when your loved one is no longer able to care for their pet. This is when live in care can enable loved ones to continue living at home with their beloved pets while receiving care & companionship to continue a healthy lifestyle.
As clearly identified through research, older people receive massive physical and emotional benefits from living with pets. The choice to stay living at home with animals is available and one of the most rewarding care services our Lifestyle Companions provide.