WHO RESCUED WHO? A BEST FRIEND'S TAIL
Considering a new pet later in life is a big decision to make for them, and for you. There’s a lot to consider, but any pet owner will tell you, that there’s also so much to gain.
What are the Benefits?
Tons! Lower blood pressure, decreased depression, even a longer lifespan, have all been attributed to including a pet into your later-life plan. They also inspire increased daily exercise and activity levels, and help foster greater community connections by giving you something automatically in common with your pet-owing neighbors, as well as activities to meet up and do together (like a puppy play date at the dog park!).
And while it may seem an obvious point to make, it’s worth focusing on how much pets can reduce loneliness. Studies show that loneliness itself is a health hazard, and can contribute to dementia symptoms and even early death, so to learn that pets substantially ease this issue is a mutually beneficial relief to seniors, and the many animals out there who have their own struggles with being alone.
Okay, but What are the Risks?
As with most highly rewarding adventures, pet ownership comes with its own risks to consider and make a plan to manage.
If your pet is active and tends to dart around on the floor, especially if it’s smaller or (has a powerful wiggle at the back end it can’t control), studies have demonstrated some increased fall risk comes along with owning some types of pets.
The paradox of this study, however, is that this fall risk also comes along with the increased physical activity pets inspire anyway (they need walks, after all!), so let this risk inspire you to plan which temperament and size of pet you get, rather than steer you away from one altogether.
Next, pet ownership is undeniably a costly relationship to be in. Vet prices are higher than ever (and have never been particularly low), and there’s a nationwide shortage of practitioners that could leave you and your pet in a costly or heartbreaking emergency driving for hours or paying exorbitant rates for the care they need. This too comes down to planning for an emergency, knowing which hospitals are where, and what your financing options are or might be before anything even happens.
Finally, this article has laid out benefit after benefit to your mental and physical health your pet can bring to you, but here’s the Great Dane in the room: one of you is going to outlive the other. It’s emotionally taxing, and even dangerous, to place so much of your happiness or connection into a mortal being who can’t promise you it’ll be around tomorrow, or whose long term security you might worry about if your own timeline .
So how do you manage this anxiety and even pre-grief? Well, as I keep saying, make a plan. How do you want your pet taken care of in the event you can’t anymore? What support system can you access if your pet passes and the companionship they provide now transitions into fond memories? Having these hard conversations with yourself can help soften the blow immediately following a loss, but can also ease the daily anxiety that might be hindering your daily ability to enjoy the moment with your furry blessing.
Did you know that your cat has golden age superpowers? From healing bones and easing sleep disorders to even saving lives, cats can perform all kinds of magic. Let me tell you how lucky you are to be a cat owner, or the healing joy that awaits if you are considering adding a new furry member to your household!
Did you know Cats Can Heal Humans?
Cats have a way of healing your tendons, muscles, and broken bones! If your cat senses that you have a broken bone, she can provide a wavelength frequency that helps heal your broken bone four times quicker just by purring! Studies have shown that your cat’s purr can also help with osteoporosis, and bone density. Another fun fact about your friendly feline can also, detect if you are having a heart attack just by recognizing your facial expressions, discomfort, or even changes in your body temperature.
Your furry companion can help you improve your sleep
Need warm cuddles at night? Grab your furball and snuggle away. Studies have shown that seniors have increased trouble falling and staying asleep as they age, but cats can help you fight sleep disorders by hearing them breathe, causing you to fall asleep quicker than usual and preventing nightmares. It is known that with age the less sleep you get. Your furry friend can help you turn short hours into long hours of sleep. Do you like naps? You and your partner in crime can nap the day away together! Your furry friend also benefits from this as well. You as an owner provide a sense of security and trust for them.
Studies have shown that your furry friend can help you cope better with stress!
Have you ever felt so sick, run down, or felt lonely? Cats are great companions for seniors! This Ragdoll kitty helps his owner by reducing her owner’s stress, anxiety, and depression by purring away as he sits on her chest while being a pet. It’s known that cats can absorb negative energy from you. Studies have shown that your furry friend can help you cope better with stress! How amazing is that?!
Well, I don’t know about you but I’m going to look at cats with a whole level of respect. Not only can cats alert you when you are suffering from a nightmare or feeling under the weather, but we also learned they are great at healing you! So, the next time you see a cat or run into your own down the hall, give them an extra pat on the back. Don’t forget to bring your furry friend along while traveling to your next destination!
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