Animals can play a huge role in anyone’s life, but particularly in an elderly person’s life as they can often be their only companion.
It’s important than an elderly person is able to stay in the comfort of their own home, among familiar surroundings and with their beloved pets around them.
Owning a pet can help reduce stress and lower blood pressure. Having a dog is great for increasing social and physical activity too.
Cats are also great for an elderly person as they are particularly low maintenance as no regular walking is required. Stroking a cat can have a calming and soothing effect, decreasing stress and anxiety levels.
A survey by Cats Protection UK and the Mental Health Foundation questioned 600 cat owners and non-cat owners. It found that 87% of cat owners felt having a cat had a positive impact on their well-being.
Seventy-six percent felt they coped with everyday life much better due to the presence of their cat. 50% felt their cat’s presence and companionship was helpful. Thirty-three percent felt stroking a cat was a calming activity.
In a study, more than 11,000 Japanese people over the age of 65 were asked about their pet ownership experience.
Cat owners reported higher levels of social interaction with their neighbours, less social isolation and more trust in their neighbours. They said that cat ownership gave them a talking point to initiate conversation.
There is growing evidence that cats can have a supportive and calming effect on people. They can also reduce feelings of loneliness, stress and anxiety.
It’s important that anyone living alone is able to keep their pet. As long as they are able to look after it properly and it does not become too much for them.
It’s not a problem for our service users to keep their pets. If necessary and if stipulated in a service user’s care requirements, then our carers can help with basic needs such as walking and feeding.