Page 3 - Senior Times South Central Michigan - February 2020 - 27-02
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 For several reasons, a companion pet is ideal for providing seniors with the assis- tance and companionship they need for daily living. Caring for animals gives mature adults and loved ones something purposeful to do every day. As they age, many mature adults feel like their relevance and usability is quickly fading, due to having little to do and no one to care for any longer. A com- panion dog can change this. Additionally, scientific research suggests that companion animals can significantly improve the health of seniors in the long run.
attack.
• And other wonderful benefits.
Tips For Choosing A Suitable Companion Care Animal – The decision to get a companion animal (such as a dog) for yourself or another loved one should be thoughtfully considered. Keep in mind that the responsibility of pet care can be over- whelming for some seniors. Older dogs are generally better for senior companionship, as puppies need training and are usually far too energetic for most seniors. Getting a pet hopefully becomes a long-term companion so be sure to choose wisely.
Seniors with companion animals tend to experience better health than those without, and tend to enjoy:
The very presence of pets can help reduce the effects of dementia – anxiety, agitation, irritability, depression, and loneliness. They can also have a positive impact on interac- tion with others as they become a conver- sation-starter. By their very nature, pets do not judge, and they are not critical. And for someone with dementia, those qualities make them a good companion. Their friendly and non-threatening demeanor can help a demen- tia patient be more interactive, when some- times they are not able to do so in social settings with other adults. Pets can also help with reducing behavior problems.
Not surprisingly, as our loved ones age there is often the consideration of what to do with the treasured pet and companion. Some area facilities will allow you to bring them along. In fact, many facilities have pets of their own for the residents to enjoy.
• Having lower blood pressure, a lowered risk of experiencing depression, and a shorter post-surgery healing time, just from regularly holding a companion animal.
Pets help those with dementia stay calm and feel relaxed. The actual act of petting or stroking an animal can bring peace and com- fort. There are also records of dogs that have visited care homes and taken naps with res- idents, helping them to sleep. Furthermore, animal visits encourage exercise and can cause bursts of energy. People with demen- tia tend to feel more inclined to get up and move about when it means spending time with their furry friends. Spending short peri- ods of time playing with pets or getting out-
Traveling with Your Pet – It has become not only more acceptable but also much easier to travel and bring your pet compan- ion along. Travel options are available as are lodging options. Be sure to ask about requirements and additional costs to bring yours along. Some locations even offer spe- cial services for your pets while you enjoy area activities and attractions.
• Having lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
• A stronger heart, slower bone tissue loss, and improved blood circulation, from pet- ting, grooming, and dog walking.
• Being less likely to suffer from loneli- ness as pets can provide an opportunity for senior pet owners to receive and give
Got Medicaid and Medicare?
You could get more.
Additional benefits may include: Health Products Card
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Call today to enroll or get answers to your questions.
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Senior Times - February 2020 Page 3
PETS: THE PERFECT COMPANIONS FOR IMPROVED HEALTH
By: Sherii Sherban, Publisher
My dog is one of my favorite companions. In fact, in my household, our pets are actu- ally more like family members. And we are not alone. Our pets have all sorts of special treats, outfits, and even snuggle in at bed- time. It is fun to share the silly and lovely things our pets do with friends and what’s more... pictures, pictures, pictures. They bring such joy to our lives that I can say
that the times we’ve had without pets in our home are never quite as delightful.
side and going on walks can go a long way. Interestingly enough pets have had
love. Pets can also increase self-esteem and
an impact on nutrition as well. A 2002 study completed by researchers at Purdue University found that nutritional intake increased during their eight-week study. Patients gained an average of 1.65 pounds and required less nutritional supplements, thus reducing overall costs of care. In this study, the pets included were fish.
decrease negativity.
• Surviving longer after having had a heart
Magic for the Person with Dementia –
Plans are insured through UnitedHealthcare Insurance Company or one of its affiliated companies, a Medicare Advantage organization with a Medicare contract and a contract with the State Medicaid Program. Enrollment in the plan depends on the plan’s contract renewal with Medicare.
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