5 ways animals benefit the elderly

Only a couple of years ago, pets were not permitted in aged care facilities. Nowadays, pets are often allowed. In fact, they are encouraged in many aged care facilities. While pets are not for everyone, it has now been found that animals benefit the elderly.

The presence of pets, such as dogs and cats, can have a huge positive impact on the health and well-being of ageing individuals. This is what Bupa has to say about pets in an aged care facility!


Here are five of the most notable ways that we think animals benefit the elderly, particularly in an aged care environment.

  1. Providing Companionship

There’s a reason why they’re called ‘man’s best friend’. Dogs are known for their ability to brighten your day and lift your spirits. They are loyal and can always be counted on to make you feel loved and needed. By providing companionship, animals can help in improving the mental and emotional well-being of the elderly.

  1. Creating a sense of purpose and responsibility

When a person moves into an aged care facility, it is common for them to feel as if they have lost their sense of purpose. There is nothing worse than feeling this way. In many cases, they have gone from having responsibilities such as working and keeping a home from having many things done for them. Having a pet to help care for creates a sense of purpose and responsibility for the elderly.

  1. Encouraging physical activity

Research shows that having pets in aged care facilities may slow down the aging process. This is due to the fact that pets encourage the elderly to be more mobile and physically active. Taking a dog for its daily walk will keep the heart pumping and can keep the elderly up and about for longer.

  1. Aiding with stress and grief

Pets are the perfect buddies to help you cope with stress and grief. As people age, they find that many of their friends and family members may be passing away as they too get older. Animals have a special way of providing support that can help people deal with grief in a positive way.

  1. Cuddles

There is absolutely nothing better than cuddling up to a warm, furry pet! Pets are the perfect snuggle buddies and it has been shown that cuddling a puppy can dramatically increase levels of happiness while simultaneously decreasing feelings of loneliness.

Whether a facility allows pets, has a pet for the facility and its residents or provides opportunities for residents to spend time with animals through pet therapy or visits, there is no doubt that animals benefit the elderly.

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