Most of us have owned at least one pet in our lifetimes. If you have, then you understand how rewarding it can be to build a relationship with a cat or dog. However, what you may not yet understand is just how beneficial that relationship can be for your health.

Older adults can benefit significantly from living with a pet. Below, you’ll learn more about these health benefits as well as about the information that you should consider before adopting a pet.

How Pet Ownership Benefits Older Adults

Most of us have a general understanding that relationships with pets are a positive thing. They help us relieve stress, alleviate boredom, and even fight back against loneliness. This, in particular, can be very important for older adults. Loneliness is a contributor to the failing health of many older adults. Owning a pet can prevent it from occurring.

Additionally, pet ownership has been scientifically linked to a number of positive health outcomes in older adults. This is a list that includes:

  • Stress relief
  • Depression relief
  • Reduced rates of heart disease
  • Lower cholesterol levels
  • Reduced systolic blood pressure (tied to female owners only so far)

For all of these reasons, adopting a pet is one of the best things that an older adult can do for their overall well-being. That being said, there are a few things you should consider before taking home a cat or dog.

Things to Consider Before Adoption

Adopting a pet is a big commitment. It’s important to consider all of the ways that doing so could impact your life before deciding to do this. One of the most important decisions that you’ll make is about the kind of pet that is right for you.

If you adopt a dog, you’ll have a great reason to get out and walk every day. At the same time, dogs typically require more attention than cats. This means you should be prepared for a larger investment of your time.

A cat may be a better option if you’re looking for a low-maintenance pet to keep you company. However, you won’t be able to take your cat on your walks, meaning that you might not be as likely to exercise.

Ultimately, picking the right pet for your needs is about understanding what exactly those needs are. Do you want companionship? A reason to exercise? Or, maybe you want a pet that your grandkids will love. Regardless, think carefully and consider these factors before you adopt a pet.

Pet Ownership and Medicare

One of the most common questions that older adults ask about animal ownership and Medicare is whether or not Medicare covers the costs of service animals. Unfortunately, there is no current Medicare plan that covers either the costs of purchasing a service animal or the costs of day-to-day care.

However, if you have a medical condition that requires a service animal, you may be able to use your Medicare coverage to save money on those expenses. This could help you unlock the funds in your budget needed to purchase a service animal or to care for one that you already own.

If you’d like more information on this, consider reaching out to one of our partnered licensed agents today. You can reach them by filling out this form or calling this number. We look forward to hearing from you.