Who does not love a soft, furry ball of love? Cats can make great companions — especially to the many lonely and depressed Elderly. The process of aging is often filled with stress over impaired mobility, health and independence. Many Seniors have great difficulty coping with the anxiety of losing their spouses, older friends and neighbors. A loving companionship of a cat can help replace those relationships — at least partially — and offer our Seniors the following benefits:
• Improve mood
• Decrease depression
• Help to cope with stress and anxiety
Did you know that spending just 30 minutes of quality time with a cat will likely allow Mom’s brain to produce and release the feel-good chemical known as serotonin? Serotonin serves as a brain neurotransmitter. Our brains are comprised of some 40 million cells and serotonin plays a major role in the proper brain cell functioning . Although being manufactured by the brain, many of the good works of this natural chemical are widely distributed throughout the body. Serotonin is believed to aid in many psychological and bodily functions. Serotonin influences our mood, learning and memory. It assists us in getting the most rest and health benefits during sleep. It even aids our bodies in temperature regulation.
Serotonin supports proper digestive track functioning, muscle functioning, assists the cardiovascular and the endocrine systems .
There are many benefits that a cat ownership can bring to an Elderly. The time our Senior loved ones spend in the cat’s companionship and the quality time they enjoy together, will benefit Mom, Dad, the cat… and us. When they are happier, so are we — aren’t we?
Just like everything else in life, a cat ownership comes with many benefits and many responsibilities. Is Mom able to care for a cat today? Will Mom be able to care for it in a year or two? The average domesticated cat lives for 15 years. If Mom gets a cat that is 5 years old, will she be able to care for the cat for the next 10 years? If not, who will? We must make plans and provisions for the pet and assure that it, too, is well taken care of while it ages.
You do not have to buy a cat. Shelters are filled with many cats who need a new Home. The wonderful part of the service that a pet shelter offers is that they make certain that the cat is healthy and they assess the cat’s age and personality. For Seniors they recommend cats that are mature and calm. Peaceful, loving, calm cat is exactly what Seniors need.
In many respects we feel that cats and the Elderly are a great team. We have seen the quality of live of many Seniors change for the better just by being able to enjoy and care for a cat. After all, there are few things in life more calming than the feeling of a warm, purring cat on your lap.
We hope that Mom and her furry friend will purr their way to a purr-fect health!
With love for the Elderly…
1. Bouchez, Colette. Reviewed: Nazario, Brunilda M.D. “Serotonin: 9 Questions and Answers” WebMD. Web. 9 Mar. 2016.
2. Mandal, Anayana M.D. “What is Serotonin?”. News Medical Life Sconces & Medicine. Web. 9 Mar. 2016.
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