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Why might a new pet be a good idea for my elderly parent?

Shelley Webb
Nursing
Unconditional affection and loyalty, companionship, reasons to live and love... these are the essence of pet ownership. Many studies have proven the value of pet ownership for senior citizens. As one ages, new experiences occur which are not always welcome: loss of independence, moving to new surroundings, loss of a spouse, loss of friends, or changes in physical health. These changes can create a time of increased loneliness, loss of interest in hobbies, and depression. Love is a perfect prescription for loneliness, and there is no better delivery device for love than a happy bundle of fur also known as a pet. Pets also stimulate the brain, alleviate boredom and increase mental alertness. Seniors with pets tend to be more engaged in reality and feel more secure. Most of all, a pet is a huge ego boost for any owner; to be so loved is a great antidote to all the stress of life.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.