Loneliness may be the most harsh and relentless cause of suffering for America's seniors, and a pet makes a great companion. An animal offers unconditional love and a strong bond based on trust and dependence. This non-verbal relationship may be the key to lifting the spirits of an aging adult who is often alone. Touch is a powerful thing, and a loving pet can provide the touch and warmth of another creature.
Animals are especially helpful to patients with dementia. A pet encourages movement: petting, walking and grooming. While this may not seem like much, these small activities make a world of difference in improving the condition of a patient with dementia. An animal friend stimulates the mind and caring for an animal provides a sense of purpose that can't be measured.
Some say animals make the best company. If you have an aging loved one in your life, consider introducing them to a furry friend. It could be more helpful than you know.