Recently, a group of retired greyhounds visited the West Palm Beach independent living residence, The Tradition of the Palm Beaches, and it was heartwarming to see how these loving animals bonded with the elderly residents. Many of them noted that they had dogs throughout their life, and connecting with these greyhounds brought back warm and comforting memories.
It is unquestionable that many people love pets, whether they currently have one or two, have a service animal, or keep wonderful memories of their passed companion pets in their hearts. Our companion pets also give back far more than they receive, including providing some important physical and psychological benefits, such as:
- Renewing sense of purpose
- Reducing blood pressure
- Improving mood and reducing depression and anxiety by increasing serotonin and dopamine levels.
- Increasing exercise due to dog walking and outdoor playtime.
- Meeting new people – interacting with other pet owners and pet lovers
- Reducing loneliness
Service animals are also valued for their training in helping people with chronic illness and disability. These animals are often assigned to alert their owners or others about potential health issues and keep them safe from harm, so beyond being a loving companion, they improve their owner’s life. Pet therapy is also a hugely popular activity in hospitals, nursing homes, rehabilitation centers due to the therapeutic benefits for people who are ill, frail, depressed and isolated.
Without a doubt, having a pet is a responsibility, but it is one that many of us, including elders, take on willingly and lovingly. Our pets can be truly valued and much loved members of our families and again, they give far more than they receive.
MorseLife Home Care: (561) 616-0707