Pets and the Elderly: A Helpful Relationship at All Levels
After the age of 70, animal-human relationships become even more rewarding than at a younger age, and help mitigate issues such as loneliness or abandonment.
Pets and seniors get a lot at all levels when they live together. According to Dr. Paula Calvo, an anthropologist and ethologist in the Department of Animals and Society at the King Juan Carlos University (URJC), after 70 years, the relationship between animals and humans becomes even more rewarding than at a younger age, and helps mitigate problems such as loneliness or abandonment. .
Unfortunately, it is common knowledge that more and more people are living alone after the age of 65, and up to 40% of them perceive this as a problem. Loneliness is undoubtedly one of the major epidemics in society.
And this is an epidemic, not only because of its rapid spread, but also because of its negative consequences. Isolation has a huge impact on the quality of life and causes problems such as depression, sadness and anxiety. In fact, people who live alone are at greater risk of premature death than those who do not belong to this group.
The fact is that in addition to lonely people, there are more and more abandoned animals. And the union between those in need of company and animals looking for a home (and, of course, company) is a great opportunity to improve the quality of life and strengthen the emotional health of many older people. As we told you in our article about dogs, pets literally prolong our lives.
More and more people are living alone, and the number of abandoned animals is also on the rise. Bringing pets and seniors together is a great opportunity to improve the quality of life for both.
Bringing pets and seniors together is a great antidote to loneliness, according to Dr. Calvo. For example, owning a cat implies an obligation to follow a series of daily routines, to do a little exercise and, above all, to maintain contact with a living being, whose presence and interaction with us brings great benefits to our body.
Research shows that living with a pet is very beneficial for our physical and mental health.
Statistically, people who live with cats have better cardiovascular health and lower blood pressure. One last piece of evidence to back up this initiative: after the pandemic, which was a test of isolation for many on the planet, it was found that those who lived with an animal came out of "imprisonment" with less psychological impairment than those who had to face it alone . Mental health also benefits: older people living with one animal feel more accompanied, less isolated, and still feel capable of taking responsibility and caring for another.