Lap dogs and cats are loving, healthful pets and companions for the elderly. Psychologists and senior fitness experts alike have much to say about why seniors benefit from having one of these pets, or at least regular, meaningful, interaction with them. There are even programs and groups who bring pets to senior homes and elder care facilities for daily or weekly visits to provide much desired animal love therapy for the residents.
Physical contact via lap sitting, pets and snuggles is vital for humans and animals alike. The elderly often lack appropriate amounts of loving touch, the kind of touch pets can happily supply. Contact with animals will often illicit memories and tales of pets seniors had in earlier years, thus inspiring social conversation and healthy pleasant emotions; both of which are good for the immune system.
For folks able to have a pet of their own, the simple reality of being needed by one’s pet fulfills basic human needs. The requisite schedules, and play times are beneficial in giving structure and reason for activity in lives without work schedules and regular social interaction. Whether hunting games with the cat, or taking the dog for walks, play time also provides good activity for seniors. Walking the dog also provides opportunities for social interaction with other dog owners and lovers. There are of course health considerations, and a time may come when a pet can no longer be properly cared for, but interaction with pets is truly beneficial for people, especially the elderly.