RX: PETS!

As we grow older, searching for that one thing to make us feel young again can seem overwhelming. There dogseems to be a laundry list of pills you can take, vitamins to swallow and creams to use, but what ever happened to good old fashioned Fido?

A pet can be great addition to any home if you are looking for companionship, safety and love. They can provide a good cuddle on the couch or a fierce bark when needed.
But why should the elderly own a pet?

If your healthcare provider told you that there was an effective treatment for senior citizens that:

  • Reduces stress
  • Helps deal with grief and loss
  • Influences activity
  • Reduces depression
  • Increases life expectancy
  • And aides in security

Would you believe them?

Believe it or not, that treatment is available and you don’t even need a prescription to get it. It’s called pet ownership.
Companion animals require a fair amount of care. They need to be walked, fed, groomed and loved. Seniors can take advantage of these responsibilities. The increased exercise will help to ensure their hearts stay healthy and their joints, flexible and limber. Getting out and exercising also lends to the opportunity to become social and to make friends. Let’s also not forget the benefits of just being outside, soaking up fresh air and Vitamin D loaded sunshine.

For senior citizens, owning a pet gives them the gift of caring for something other than themselves. This can bring them a sense of pride and accomplishment. The care of another life is extremely rewarding when done correctly. Some pets require more responsibility and maintenance than others, so be sure a good match is made.

For the seniors out there who are animal lovers, but are unable to own one themselves, need not to worry.
In a recent study, “the effects of pets on elderly people in nursing homes found that residents exposed to pets consistently smiled more and became measurably more alert than those who did not encounter animals.”

You do not need to own a pet to gain the same benefits stated above. Just visiting with an animal can bring you the same joy, happiness and health.

The benefits of owning a pet are obviously positive, however, there are some precautions you should consider before becoming a pet owner, such as, falling. In some cases, people do trip over their pets, resulting in a fall. Most companion animals – although a benefit to one’s health – are unable to help if you fall and cannot get up. For a senior citizen, lying on the floor for hours (and sometimes days) can be devastating. However, this can be avoided with Life Alert. One touch of Life Alert’s HELP button worn around the wrist or as a pendant will send emergency help fast, 24/7, relieving the stress and fear from you and Fido.

Life Alert can also summon help for a Fire, Smoke, and CO Gas poisoning. You can even use Life Alert to summon police if you hear an intruder. So, consider Life Alert your Lassie.

To learn more about all of the services Life Alert offers, call 1-800-513-2934 and order your FREE BROCHURE.

Works Cited:
1. “Help Support Pets For The Elderly.” < http://www.petsfortheelderly.org/articles.html&gt;.
2. Burke, Sarah. “In the Presence of Animals.” U.S. News & World Report. February 1992. < http://www.petsfortheelderly.org/research.html&gt;.

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