The cat is a fabulous animal for good reason, especially among our elders who, often alone, have a vital need for companionship. With this little feline, the elderly, whether they are losing their autonomy or not, change radically and positively. Let’s discover the main benefits that the cat is able to generate in the elderly.
The cat, an animal with communicative dynamism
Give back a meaning to life of the elderly suffering from loneliness is undoubtedly one of the primary roles that the cat fulfills with our elders. It suffices, moreover, for this little ball of hair to burst into these people so that the eyes are immediately animated and the smiles light up these faces which, for a long time, seemed very sad. The cat is an animal whose dynamism is communicative and which helps, by its presence and its many jokes, to break loneliness.
The cat, an affectionate animal
The elderly are easily moved by the cat, especially since it is capable of give a lot of affection to a person. It is a real ball of extremely cuddly love passing from arm to arm when it shares the daily life of residents of a retirement home or EHPAD. Suddenly, seniors take pleasure in pampering their little companion, and the same goes for the elderly who still live at home and have a cat. The little feline creates this emotional bond so important in a person’s life.
The cat, an anti-stress companion
We understand that when we enter the last quarter of our life, moments of stress can legitimately multiply. Death of the spouse, health concerns, difficulties in coping with certain everyday actions, sometimes loss of autonomy, estrangement from children, loneliness, insomnia, lack of enthusiasm, awareness of the passage of time ( fast, too fast), fear of tomorrow… Many elderly people are also faced with a difficult choice: is it time to leave home or apartment where we have all our memories to integrate a senior residence, a retirement home, or even an EHPAD? It is a time of life that is destabilizing on many levels and rightly so.
All seniors who own a cat go through this life cycle better, in any case suffer less from the stress that existential questions and significant events can generate. The simple fact of focusing your attention on a living being allows you to take a step back from all the worries and feel stronger and calmer. It should also be noted that the cat is considered an amazing pet because it is capable of lower stress level of the people around him. It promotes relaxation and well-being by its purring, but also quite simply by its presence.
A cat to feel more autonomous
There is no doubt that the elderly are unanimous on one fact: spend time with your cat helps to remain independent, or even to regain some of their autonomy. Remember to regularly buy food for your little companion, prepare food for him, ensure that he always has fresh water available, change his litter box and regularly clean it from top to bottom. It is also essential to brush him several times a week, to play with him as often as possible, to talk to him, to cuddle him but also to take care of his health and to accompany him to the veterinarian on a regular basis.
And when you adopt a new cat, you also have to think about taking out a contract with animal health insurance in order to be at least partially reimbursed for a large part of your veterinary expenses. It requires reflection and involves performing a search in order to compare the different formulas offered by the many companies. These are fundamental tasks that push the elderly to invest and step out of their comfort zone.
A cat, cognitive benefits
The cat is particularly suitable for seniors who love animals but can no longer take care of a dog which still requires to be able to exercise a physical activity: it must be taken out and accompanied on a walk, which everyone world no longer has the physical capacity to assume. The cat, on the other hand, does not imply the same requirements. On the other hand, with a cat, we can maintain or create a interaction whose the effects are extremely positive with seniors who suffer from cognitive problems more or less important.
Professionals working in nursing homes in particular, but also doctors and even caregivers, find that sharing their life with a cat (or another pet) promotes the relational side, stimulates intellectual functions, helps fight against memory loss, is positive in people with language disorders. It is also noted that the elderly who eat poorly or very little, or even with anorexic tendency, regain the desire to eat in the presence of an animal. The cat can also have a positive impact on particularly agitated seniors.
A cat, for the sense of responsibility
Having to take care of a cat on a daily basis is very important for everyone. Seniors also like to have this type of little companion because it pushes them to invest every day so that their animal does not feel neglected. The presence of a cat in the life of a senior is capital and many specialists confirm that this allows still feel responsible of a living being. In other words, the senior counts for the animal, he feels useful and even essential. This is how we can simply help people hang on to life and make it softer.
Being responsible for an animal is just as essential for a person who has a tendency to fold in on him either because of old age or because he suffers from an illness or a handicap regardless of his age. elsewhere … Near 25% of seniors aged 80 and over say they take great pleasure in living with a pet and confirm that their life would not have the same meaning if their little companion was not by their side.
The largest number of animal owners is found in the population aged 50 to 59, a period of life when one is not quite old yet, but where the we are no longer young either. The cat fascinates, seduces, soothes, amuses … it is a touching animal, widely considered to be the ideal companion for the elderly. And then, what pride to feel able to still share time and activities with your cat! Seniors can find a security feeling by discovering that they still have enough physical and / or mental capacity to care for a cat.