St Louis Cat

How Pets Improve Health and Wellbeing in the Elderly

People who have been raised with pets will often say that their pet “completed their family”. The benefits of pets on the health and wellbeing of all people, young and old, is significant. They are wonderful companions for young and old, ever present to us through thick and thin. 

Especially for older people at home, pets are a reason to stay active and can be a remedy for loneliness. There is now scientific evidence about the health benefits of owning a pet. People with pets have been found to be happier, healthier and overall more resilient to life’s challenges.

In Australia we have one of the highest rates of pet ownership in the world with 62% of households having a pet. There are more than 24 million pets in Australia!

Pets help you stay active and social

Dog owners know the drill, every day your dog peers up at you waiting for you to give the signal that it is time for a walk. On your walking trail or down at the park you will meet other people with dogs and social interaction naturally happens. 

For cat lovers, Adelaide now has cat cafés where you can have a coffee with other enthusiastic cat lovers while your furry feline romps around. Here are two cafes that are set up for cats and their owners in Adelaide:

Hashtag Meow Café

MeowMe Cat Café

Pets improve your mood and overall wellbeing

Pets need our attention and care so they have a way of making us step outside our own worries while we take care of them. They have the power to bring us into the present so we are not dwelling in the past or the future. For older people who may feel anxious about getting older at home, this is comforting. They delight and amuse us and bring unconditional love and acceptance into our world.

A study using Animal Assisted Therapy (AAT) was conducted to measure the impact on the wellbeing of 37 nursing home residents. They showed an increase in overall satisfaction with life naming feelings such as ‘enthusiastic’, ‘attentive’, ‘interested’, and ‘inspired’ with pets in their company.

Pets improve heart health

Studies done by the Baker Medical Research on 5741 people showed that regardless of their diet, weight and smoking status, people who owned a pet had lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels.

So, the evidence confirms what we know, our pet’s love is good for our hearts!

Pets provide companionship

For some older people living at home, if they have had spouses and friends passing away, or if people are experiencing less mobility, this can lead to more isolation. But a pet is always there for us, no matter what, alleviating feelings of loneliness that may lead to depression and anxiety.

Things to consider before adopting a pet

  • A pet changes your routine – are you emotionally and mentally prepared for this?
  • A pet costs money for food and care – can you afford it?
  • Do you prefer a puppy that you can raise or an older dog?
  • Are you happy to adopt a dog from a local shelter? They cost less and need a loving, kind home.

St Louis home care services will help you manage your responsibilities at home 

St Louis home care packages will help you manage your responsibilities at home that will help you to maintain your health and wellbeing, so that you can stay home happily and comfortably as the years go by. Your home care package is designed to ensure you are getting the support you need at home, and if your pet is part of your household then they will also benefit from the care we provide.

Call the St Louis Adelaide home care team on 8332 0950 or the Victor Harbor home care team on 8552 1481 to discuss how a home care package will help you manage well at home.