The Covid-19 pandemic has led to a larger than usual number of people adopting pets. After all, stay-at-home orders reduced the chances that people had to interact with others and pets began to play an increasingly more important role as companions. Data compiled from PetPoint reveals that animal welfare organizations throughout the country had a difficult time keeping up with the demand.
With pets playing a role in a record number of people’s lives, it’s critical to understand the powerful and valuable role that pets can play in the lives of seniors and individuals with disabilities.
# 1 – Reducing Loneliness
Pets can help owners defeat negative emotions like isolation and loneliness. Elderly individuals and the disabilities, however, often encounter these feelings even when the pandemic is not occurring. Unfortunately, these conditions can lead people to experience depression as well as many other negative conditions like arthritis and heart disease. By creating a relationship with a pet, however, it’s often possible to defeat these feelings.
# 2 – Combatting Depression
Pets tend to improve moods of owners as well as others.. The Research Center for Human/Animal Interaction has even discovered that pet owners are less likely than non-pet owners to face depression. Consequently, interaction with pets has been shown in countless scenarios to reduce negative emotions like depression and loneliness.
# 3 – Reducing Stress
Spending time with animals releases several chemicals including oxytocin and serotonin into a person’s body that improve mood. As a result, spending time with an animal is one of the best natural ways that people can reduce the anxiety and stress that they end up feeling.
# 4 – Improving Fitness
Many people discover that pets often lead to increased exercise schedules. Daily exercise has the potential to improve a person’s mental and physical health as well as result in decreased deterioration of that individual’s ability to perform important daily living activities.
# 5 – Strengthening the Heart
Data shows that pet ownership reduces blood pressure and heart rates. Due to the decreased blood pressure and reduced cholesterol, a person’s heart can be greatly strengthened as a result of pet ownership. This can lead to a higher quality of living among the elderly as well as increased life expectancies.
# 6 – Improved Social Connections
Pets can provide owners with reasons to leave the house and subsequently increase the degree to which a person interacts with others in the neighborhood. For individuals who reside in nursing homes or assisted living facilities, having increased chances to interact with the community gives something else to enjoy.
For individuals who have had a difficult time interacting with others, this increased interaction with the community can also help a person improve social skills. Elderly individuals who interact with the community to a greater degree often experience improved mental health because this interactivity can lighten a person’s mood and make them feel happier.
Speak with an Elder Law Attorney
The aging process is full of challenges, but an experienced attorney can help you make sure that you achieve your goals. Contact Ettinger Law Firm today to schedule a free case evaluation.