When you think of a companion animal, you might think of a dog that is trained to help those who are blind or those who have diseases like diabetes or epilepsy. While companion dogs are normally used for people in these categories, they are also beneficial to those who are elderly. Many older individuals enjoy spending time with an animal when they have lost a significant other or when they don't have family members available to visit them. There are numerous health benefits that elderly individuals can see from a companion animal of any size.
Whether the elderly person has high blood pressure or has another type of issue that involves the heart, owning a companion animal can help to lower the risk of a heart attack or stroke. The animal can help to calm the person in times of anxiety and fear. Elderly individuals with companion animals have another being in the home that provides comfort and offers a source of communication in some manner, which can aid in keeping stress levels lower. When there is a comfortable situation, it tends to lead to fewer heart problems, which can mean living longer.
Animals of any kind will need some type of exercise during the day. The elderly person can take the dog out for a walk as long as it's safe to do so. Another option is to have a home caregiver, like the professionals at Baywood Home Care, help the person exercise their dog in a safe manner. While the animal is getting exercise, the individual can also get needed exercise to keep the joints mobile and to keep the blood flowing properly through the body. When elderly individuals maintain some form of exercise, it can usually lead to a longer life because the organs are being maintained and operating as they should in order to support the body.
When an elderly person has something to be responsible for, then it can help to keep the mind alert and active. The person would need to feed and water the dog and make sure the companion animal is cared for properly. These activities can help to keep the mind in the present instead of wandering off. There are some dogs that are trained to work with people who have dementia, which can be a benefit for those who tend to leave burners on or who exhibit other signs of the disease when they live alone.
Companion animals offer assistance in a number of ways to the elderly. They can be taken to nursing homes and assisted living facilities to help those who aren't able to stay home. The animals can sometimes extend the life of the owner so that they have more time to spend with family.