When going through a significant life change like retirement, people can feel much more lonely than usual.  Feelings of loneliness and a lack of direction are prevalent and even expected during retirement.  One method many people overlook to combat these feelings is adopting a pet.  A pet that requires a lot of upkeep and play may not be the best choice for an aging person, but a low-maintenance pet could be beneficial for loneliness and a sense of responsibility.  This blog will go over the benefits of having a pet during retirement.

 

Companionship

As I mentioned above, many people develop feelings of loneliness during retirement.  Regardless of their stage in life, many people have pets for companionship, and it repeatedly shows it is an effective method of combatting loneliness.

Responsibility

A common problem people in retirement face is a perceived lack of purpose or responsibility.  Feeling a lack of purpose can lead to many issues, including boredom, dissatisfaction with life, and can even contribute to depression and anxiety.  Having a pet can be a fantastic way to fill this newly-found extra time and avoid these problems.

 

Activity

A pet can be a great motivator to go on daily walks and spend time outdoors.  Daily walks and outdoor time will promote good overall health and physical fitness.  If physical activity and leaving your home is an option for you or a retired loved one, it may be worthwhile to consider this benefit when thinking about adopting a pet.*

 

Having a pet is not ideal for everyone.  To be sure, not everybody even wants a pet.  But, if having a pet is something you feel could be beneficial, and you feel you’re up for the responsibility, I believe it’s a beautiful thing to consider during retirement.

 

*Patients on home health and hospice care are, by definition, homebound – meaning they cannot safely leave their homes without necessity.  However, many people in retirement are still able to be active and leave their homes.  

 

 

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