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Acorn Stairlifts Senior Tip of the Week—Make a Furry Friend

12:00am | & Tips and Advice

Whether it pertains to stairlifts or not, when Acorn Stairlifts says that we care about our customers and their well-being, only wanting to give them the best, we mean it.

This also applies to our customers’ overall quality of life.

We want you to lead the healthiest, happiest, and most fulfilling lives possible. We want to see you succeed and reach new heights not only in mobility and independence but in all areas of their lives.

Welcome back to “Acorn Stairlifts Tip of the Week,” a series in which we will equip seniors with all the knowledge, tools, and helpful advice that they need to succeed in their lives—ranging anywhere from physical health, to saving money with senior discounts, and just about everything in between.

Read on to learn about this week’s tip that alters the phrase of “man’s best friend” to “seniors' best friend.”

The Acorn Stairlifts Senior Tip of the Week

If you are feeling lonely, socially isolated, or just have a love for animals, consider picking a pet to be your next furry best friend.

In some countries in the world, as many as one in three older people report feeling lonely, according to the World Health Organisation.

In fact, approximately 1.4 million senior citizens in the UK say that they are often lonely, according to Age UK.

Sadly, frequent feelings of loneliness and social isolation can have devastating effects on the mental and physical health of senior citizens such as significantly increased risk for depression, heart disease, other mental health issues, and overall poor health.

However, there is one option for combating loneliness that you might not have considered—and it’s probably a lot furrier and cuter than you expected.

That’s right. I’m talking about our precious pets.

What are the Benefits of Having a Pet?

Studies have shown that owning a pet provides many benefits both mentally and physically can combat loneliness and the negative effects that come with constantly feeling socially isolated.

The Mental Benefits of Pets—They Are the Cat’s Meow!

Fur babies aren't just company that make you feel less alone in the physical sense—They are also family who bring mental benefits the minute that they scurry into your life.

Here are some of the many mental benefits that come with pets:

  • Increase dopamine, serotonin, and oxytocin levels (the “happy” hormones)
  • Increase the feeling of being loved
  • Decrease levels of cortisol (the “stress” hormone)
  • Decrease stress and anxiety
  • Reduce feelings of depression
  • Reduce feelings of loneliness
  • Reduce symptoms of PTSD
  • Improve overall mood
  • Reported to provide a greater overall satisfaction of life  
  • Reported to provide a stronger sense of identity in pet owners with mental illness
  • Are a distraction from feelings of distress
  • Provide a greater sense of purpose, security, and routine
  • Reduce feelings of pain, discomfort, and stress in patients with chronic pain
  • Assist in treatment for long-term diseases such as Alzheimer’s and dementia
  • Increase cognitive ability
  • Help you meet new people
  • Increase self-confidence

There are so many more mental benefits of owning a pet, but I’m sure that by now you get that having a pet in your life is the cat’s meow for your mental health.

The “Pawsome” Physical Benefits of Pets

You may be surprised to know that pets don’t just bring us happiness and comfort. Their company can actually improve peoples’ overall physical health as well.

In fact, a study at Cambridge University discovered that owning a pet can improve general health in less than a month. The pet owners reported fewer minor ailments such as colds, coughs, and headaches.

Here are some of the physical benefits that you can experience from having a pet:

  • Increase physical activity
  • Decrease blood pressure
  • Decrease cholesterol
  • Decrease triglyceride levels
  • Lowers risk of heart disease
  • Faster healing
  • Reduces heart rate
  • Reduce the risk of heart attack
  • Increase the likelihood of surviving a heart attack
  • Fewer ailments like colds, coughs, and headaches
  • Reduce risk of chronic diseases such as strokes, cancer, and diabetes
  • Decrease levels of cortisol (the “stress” hormone)
  • Increase dopamine, serotonin, and oxytocin levels (the “happy” hormones)
  • Improve overall physical health
  • Reduce feelings of pain, discomfort, and stress in patients with chronic pain
  • May improve lifespan

Again, these aren’t even all of the “pawsome” physical benefits of having a pet, but you get the picture.  

Is Getting a Pet Right for Me?

Still not sure if having a pet is right for you for whatever reason?

Click here to learn more about the factors you should consider when making the big decision of owning a pet, other ways you can interact with pets without the responsibility of ownership, and tips for how to go about taking care of a pet as a senior.

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