Most of us have experienced the joy and loyalty of owning a pet at some point in our lives, but have we ever stopped to really think about the effect a little creature can have on us holistically especially in our old age when life slows down? Animals have proven to play these significant roles in the lives of the elderly:
Our truest friend
Having a wagging tail to greet you every morning, or a bundle of purrs on your lap in the evening is sometimes the best company you could ask for! They may not be able to fill the place of another person, but pets certainly provide loyal constant companionship.
The alarm that barks, purrs or chirpsAlthough the advantage of being older is that you have plenty of free time, It could lead to you feeling a bit bored. Having a pet around means you have a routine. Even if it’s a basic one, you will still have the responsibility of meeting their needs at a certain time each day.
Our gym partner
All living beings need to move regardless of their age. Having a dog in particular is fantastic motivation to get your walking shoes on and get out into the fresh air, stretch those legs and get your blood flowing! It will do wonders for both you and your furry friend.
The best ‘wingman/woman’
You would be amazed how many mutual human friends you and your pet might end up sharing. Whether it’s the vet, other regular walkers in your pooches’ favourite park or the receptionist at the grooming parlour, having a dog especially, can result in a roaring social life! And those are just the activities you will find it hard to avoid! There are organised dog walking groups to join, charitable events like fun dog shows or walkathons where having a pet is just the icebreaker you might need to make new friendships.
Our fur/feather baby
Many of us would have spent a good part of our lives taking care of our children and/or partners by the time we are elderly. Some may welcome the fact that their family members are self-sufficient but it’s important to remember that the desire to nurture and be useful in another’s life might still be very strong. This is why having a pet can be very satisfying and fulfilling. Because as much as we need these little creatures, they will need you even more!
At the end of the day growing old does not have to be the ending of a chapter, but rather the start of a new one. Having a pet around, may help to give an entirely new perspective on life, all you need to do is follow your nose and let your dog take you for a walk for a change!