Moving from a single family home to a small apartment or Senior community is stressful, but bringing a pet along for the journey can greatly ease downsizing for Seniors. You may need to part with some prized possessions when you downsize, but there’s almost always room for a small four-legged friend! Barkpost, a blog highlighting stories about our relationships with dogs, has listed the top 5 ways that dogs, and pets in general, benefit Seniors:
1. Companionship
Contact with a pet can alleviate depression, loneliness, and isolation. For people who’ve lost their spouse, or whose grown children have moved away, a dog or cat can be a great source of friendship and companionship.
2. Stress Relief
Pets can help relieve the stresses of people dealing with life changes such as moving from their family home to a Senior Community.
3. Staying active
Walking or playing with a dog or cat is a great source of exercise. Petting a dog or cat can help work out arthritic hands and arms.
4. Mental Alertness
Pets are a source of mental stimulation. Whether reading about breeds and pet care, or talking to others about dogs, elderly minds can benefit.
5. Mood-booster
Being with a dog can help reduce cortisol (a stress hormone), and help boost levels of the serotonin (the happy hormone.) Dogs seem to have an instinct for when sad or frightened people need to be comforted. For seniors facing fears of the future or surgery, a pup can help a Senior focus on the positive and ease downsizing for seniors.
Being responsible for the care of a pet can also give a Senior a sense of purpose, and let’s face it – for most of us, our pets are considered a part of the family.
In recent years, some innovative therapy programs have incorporated dogs to improve mood and cognitive ability in Seniors with dementia or Alzheimers. For more information about the role of therapy dogs and Seniors, check out this interesting article: New Breed of Service Dog
 To find out how Downsize My Home helps Seniors and their families save money, time and stress, Click Here!