Feelings of loneliness and even boredom are often a daily reality for seniors living alone. Our friendships still exist but certain situational factors make it hard to maintain regular or consistent contact with them. Family members may not live close by or, if they do, they may not really be in a position to visit as often as we’d like.
Companionship is a necessity for all of us, no matter what age we are. We were not meant to be alone! Interaction with others is important to our entire well-being. Sure, relationships with other human beings is paramount but there is another option that can sometimes be just as rewarding and precious as human companionship. GET a PET!
A new pet can bring immediate joy and laughter, which can be very mentally and emotionally stimulating. It is so important that we keep ourselves open to all the thrills that accompany pet ownership. Pets provide so many wonderful intangibles. For instance, consider how dogs (and other pets) live very much in the here and now. They don't worry about tomorrow. That is healthy for all of us! Having an animal with that sense of NOW tends to rub off!
Of course, it’s not all rainbows and roses! This is especially true when considering that we have to be responsible and care for this particular animal. But according to psychologists, pets can reduce depression and lessen loneliness. Older pet owners often had something missing in their lives until they discovered their pet's companionship, even though there were extra responsibilities and even some downsides to owning and caring for an active pet.
Don’t be worried about getting a "pure-bred" pet. They can be expensive and need more care. The best place to find a variety of animals to choose from would be the local Humane Society. There are so many animals that need good homes and are willing to love to you. These places will also have the pet’s shots up to date as well as other health services.
Most pets are easy to take care of and can be truly entertaining for hours. Being responsible for other living creatures, and to watch those creatures live and play, can really add interest to your life. If you show love to your pet, that love will be returned. If you are gentle with your pet, that gentleness will be returned. So, take your time and shower them with love and kindness and you’ll certainly reap the rewards!