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Tag: heart health

5 Health Benefits of Owning a Pet

There’s nothing better than coming home to a dubiously excited dog or cat vying for attention. While it may feel great to be a source of endless happiness for your pet, your own health and well-being can be greatly improved. Studies show there are physical, emotional, and mental benefits of owning a pet for people of all ages. From encouraging daily exercise to unconditional companionship, the perks of having a furry best friend are numerous and undeniable. The following are 5 health benefits of owning a pet.

Pets are Heart Healthy

Did you know the simple act of petting a dog or cat can be hugely beneficial to your cardiovascular health? Individuals with pets tend to have a lower blood pressure than non-pet owners, which is imperative in reducing the risk of heart disease.

Loneliness and Depression Antidotes

The companionship of a pet can help combat depression and loneliness for pet owners who may find themselves spending a lot of time alone. Before choosing a new friend, however, consider the pet’s age and natural demeanor. The relaxed temperament of many older pets may align well with senior energy levels and lifestyle, whereas a puppy or any energetic pet may be more suitable for younger, more active owners.

Simply petting an animal can reduce stress and increase feelings of companionship because it releases the pleasure chemical dopamine in the brain. Also, walking a dog is a great ice-breaker when it comes to talking to people on the street or at the dog park.

Animals Live in the Moment

Have you ever noticed the Zen-like mentality of animals to live for right now and at the moment? That “here and now” mentality can be particularly helpful for seniors. Seizing the day with your furry friend at your side can help you appreciate every precious moment of your life.

Increased Independence

Pets can also help improve mobility and independence for seniors by helping with daily tasks. For example, pets can alert seniors with hearing loss when there’s a knock at the door or the phone rings. Also, a daily outdoor walk with a pet is a healthy low-stress form of exercise.

Furry Pain Relievers

Anxiety intensifies pain and vice versa. By reducing anxiety levels, pets can help alleviate pain for seniors who may experience chronic conditions such as arthritis or sciatica. Recent studies have shown that there’s a decreased need for pain medication following surgery when a pet is present in the home.

Conclusion  

There are few things more rewarding than owning a pet. Not only do they provide unconditional love and companionship, but having a furry best friend can be attributed to a multitude of physical, mental, and emotional health benefits. For more information, contact the professionals at Home Instead Senior Care.

Health Benefits of Swimming for Your Elderly Loved Ones

When you find yourself looking for some great summer activities for your elderly loved ones to participate in, consider swimming as your go-to activity. Whether you want to get them out of the house for a small period of time or simply want to give them a great way to stay active year round, swimming is one of the best ways to achieve both of these goals. Keep reading our blog to learn just a few of the positive health benefits that swimming can bring to your loved ones.

Elderly man swimming.

Elderly man swimming.

 

Good for Their Heart

If you have a loved one entering their golden years, swimming and other water activities are a great way to promote heart health. Swimming is one of the best exercises for lowering blood pressure and improving circulation because it’s a low impact activity that gently uses a majority of the body’s systems and muscles.

 

Good for Their Joints

For those struggling with joint pain, swimming is one of the greatest ways to exercise without putting extra strain on their joints. Swimming is a low impact, full-body workout that allows everyone to experience a fun method of staying in shape. Due to the non-weight bearing nature of this activity, even those that struggle with hip, spine, or knee pain can find enjoyment.

 

Improves Their Flexibility

Did you know that swimming is a great way to improve flexibility? The gentle and effective resistance that water provides improves strength and flexibility. Because of the simple movements involved, they will be able to notice an improvement in the range of motion in parts of the body including hips, legs, arms, and neck.

Swim class.

Swim class.

Helps Their Mental Health

This is more of a double benefit for your elderly loved ones. Because swimming is generally a relaxing activity, it’s great for reducing stress and improving mental health. Another aspect of swimming is that it’s a social activity, which means that your senior is able to interact with other people around them and start new friendships. Through their interactions, many of their feelings of loneliness are also greatly reduced.

 

Conclusion

No matter the activity, you always want to be sure that it can have a positive impact on your loved one’s physical and mental well-being. Swimming is one such activity that checks both of these boxes in a way that’ll allow your loved one the freedom and ability to safely enjoy themselves. Let our team at Home Instead Senior Care help the elders in your life find an activity that’s right for them.