Friday, March 26, 2021

Senior Discounts - Use Them Wherever You Go

Over the past few years, increases to the Social Security benefits of senior citizens have been tiny or non-existent.  Most seniors have tightened their belts as much as they possibly can, but this does not mean they want to stop enjoying life. They just cannot continue to pay the ever increasing prices for the things they enjoy.  This is why senior citizens should take advantage of every possible senior discount they can find.  Why pay more than necessary for the things you enjoy?

General Senior Discounts

If you belong to either AARP or AAA, you may discover they offer a wide variety of benefits, including senior discounts. Even if you do not belong to either of those organizations, there is no harm in asking about senior prices everywhere you go ... restaurants, hotels, movie theaters or for transportation.  Many businesses offer a discount, even without a membership, but you have to ask.  In addition to the ideas listed below, you can also get more ideas for saving money by reading the inexpensive book "The Money-Saving Idea Book: Inside Tips for Starving Students, Frugal Seniors, and Every Financial Survivor."

Below are some specific discounts you might appreciate:

AARP discounts:  Use your card to save money at Ticketmaster, Outback Steakhouse, Bonefish Grill, Denny's restaurant, EyeMed, prescription drugs purchased from OptumRx, Delta Dental, Pet Plan Pet Insurance, auto and other types of insurance products, Avis, Budget and Payless car rentals, cruises, and a wide variety of hotels.  You will also get the AARP magazine and Bulletin, which regularly offer information of interest to retirees.

AAA discounts:  AAA offers many of the same benefits as AARP.  Whenever we make a hotel or car rental reservation, we always ask if one of these cards offers better discounts than the other.  Usually, they have very similar discounts but, with AAA, you also get roadside assistance for any car you are in.  AAA also offers locksmith services for both home and auto, discounts on select items at Home Depot, Lowe's, Walmart and other retailers, restaurant discounts through, discounts at the Hard Rock Cafe, Rainforest Cafe and other popular eateries, and many other discounts.

Senior Discount Websites - You may be able to check online to find discounts for anything from airline tickets to restaurant meals.  Check out, and

Professional Organizations - The retiree unit of the public employee union I belong to offers discounts on my AT&T cell phone service.  This one discount, alone, saves me several times the amount of the retiree union dues, so belonging to the union pays for itself.  The union also offers discounts for a number of local attractions.  In addition to my union membership, I have also received discounts on performances in our area through the clubs I belong to in our community.  Before you pay the full price to enjoy a local performance, visit an amusement park, or attend a festival,  check to see if the local senior center, your union, or any clubs you belong to can help you obtain a discount.

Groupon - This smartphone app is another way to get discounts for the admission to local attractions. Scroll through what they have to offer in your area.  You may be surprised to find Groupon discounts for a number of popular activities. 

Basically, check out all your options before purchasing tickets to anything.  Avoid paying full price whenever you can.  We all need to stretch our retirement dollars as much as possible.  

Medical Discounts

In addition to the generous benefits offered by AAA and AARP, you can find individual organizations which offer discounts. Here are few to help with your medical expenses: - Click on Dental Schools and find a list of schools which will perform your dental work for significantly less than many dentists.

Partnership for Prescription Assistance - - If you qualify, you may be able to save money on your prescription medications.

RxSaver - All pharmacies do not charge the same price for prescription medications.  Check out this website to save money, especially if you not qualify for prescription assistance. - People over the age of 65 may be able to get a thorough eye exam and a year of free care from a volunteer ophthalmologist. 

Vacation Discounts

Everyone wants to travel once in a while, either for a well-deserved vacation or while taking a road trip to visit your family and friends.  Discounts on travel can make this easier.  Don't forget to check out the hotel and restaurant discounts you can get with AAA and AARP.  In addition, you may want to take advantage of the deals listed here:

Amtrak and Via Rail Canada both offer 10 percent discounts for seniors ... Amtrak at age 62 and Rail Canada at age 60.

National Park Service - - You can find free entrance days at the national parks on the site.  If you love to spend time in the national parks, you will want to get an America the Beautiful senior pass for $80, which entitles you and everyone in your car to get into any national park for the rest of your life!

Discounts on Insurance

Safety Course Discounts on Auto Insurance - Talk to your insurance agent about how you might qualify for a discount on your auto insurance.  One way could be to take an older-driver safety course.  Some insurance companies will give you a reduction of as much as $100 a year.

Non-smoker Discounts on Life Insurance - Healthy people who exercise, do not smoke and maintain an ideal weight can often save money on life insurance.

Multi-Policy Discounts - If you get both your home and auto insurance from the same company, you may also get a discount.

Online Shopping Discounts

Recently, I wrote another post devoted entirely to getting discounts while shopping online on sites such as Amazon, Walmart, Macy's or Target.  It contains a lot of great ideas for shoppers of all ages. You can read that in-depth article here:

Finally, if you are a struggling retiree who is worried about how you can make sure your money lasts for the rest of your life, I recommend the Suze Orman book, "The Ultimate Retirement Guide for 50+: Winning Strategies to Make Your Money Last a Lifetime."

You can find gifts for retirees and others at my Etsy Store, DeborahDianGifts:

Enjoyed this post? Never miss out on future posts by following us.  You will receive a weekly email with the most current post. 
If you are interested in learning more about financial planning in retirement, Social Security, Medicare, where to retire, common health problems as you age, use the tabs or pull down menu at the top of the page to find links to hundreds of additional helpful articles.

Disclosure: This blog may contain affiliate links. If you decide to make a purchase from an Amazon ad, I'll make a small commission at no extra cost to you.

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Friday, March 19, 2021

Second Homes for Retirement: The Pros and Cons of Owning a Vacation or Rental Home

After people stop working and no longer have to stay close to their jobs, many retirees decide to purchase a second home ... perhaps a condo near the beach, a country home, or a cabin in the mountains where they can live part of the year.  In other cases, senior citizens purchase the second home as an investment to provide them with extra income for their retirement. However you plan to use a second home, is owning one the right choice for you?

This week's guest post deals with the pros and cons of owning a second home, including some important facts which everyone needs to consider before making this decision.  It will be very helpful information for anyone considering making such a significant purchase during their retirement years.  If you plan to rent out your second home, either permanently or part of the year, you may also want to read the book "First-Time Landlord: Your Guide to Renting Out a Single Family Home." (Ad)

A New Career For Your Golden Years

Retirement has always been portrayed as a carefree time with nothing to do, a time when seniors get to kick back and relax at home. But for some seniors, that may not sound as wonderful as it seems. After all, you may be used to working hard and not ready to simply kick back.

In fact, you may have come to enjoy the satisfaction of a hard day’s work, not to mention the feeling of accomplishment you get every night when you come home. And if you have just recently found yourself retired, chances are you miss that feeling and want to get it back in some form.

While the daily grind of a 9 to 5 job may no longer be appealing to you, that does not mean you are out of options to feel accomplished in retirement. In addition to trying out new hobbies and learning how to relax, one popular trend for seniors is owning a second home.

Second Homes 101

What is the purpose of buying a second home, you might ask? It’s a great question and, depending on the type of home you buy, there are a lot of options for what you can accomplish.

First, you could buy a vacation home. Look into the prices at your favorite vacation spot, whether it is on the coast or near the mountains, to see if it is something you can afford. If you can swing it, owning a home which is entirely your own to escape to every now and then can be a huge blessing. Plus, it is a great place to host family reunions or invite friends over for an extended vacation.

The other option which is a perfect fit for more active seniors is buying a second home to rent out to others. This home will need to be in a popular area for renters, perhaps near a big city or by a tourist attraction that sees a consistent flow of visitors. This way, you can ensure you will get enough rental interest in your property to make a profit.

For rental homes, you can choose to list your property on short-term rental sites like Airbnb or VRBO. With these sites, you can take advantage of rent hikes during peak seasons and see a high turnover rate with new renters. You can also choose to find long-term renters and become the landlord of your second property. And though rates are usually set for the duration of their lease, renting to long-term tenants requires less work on your end in terms of cleaning and securing the property after each guest.

Should I Buy Another Property?

Deciding whether or not to buy a second property is a big decision, and there are a lot of factors to consider. Your personality is a big indicator of whether you will be happy with this decision. For example, if you do not like the idea of having any commitments during retirement and you want to travel freely, this may not be the right move for you. But if you love meeting new people and want to make a steady income in your golden years, a rental property can be the perfect way to achieve both of those goals.

Still unsure if this is the right move for you? Check out the breakdown of second home pros and cons below.

Pros of a Second Home

Weighing the pros and cons of buying a second home is crucial to ensuring you make the decision that best fits your lifestyle. After you have taken a look at how you want to live out your golden years, take a look at the benefits below.

  • A way to make steady money during retirement
  • Flexibility to have either long or short term tenants
  • Having a rent-free place to vacation
  • Being able to host family gatherings between tenants
  • A great way to meet new people
  • Can help combat boredom often experienced in retirement
  • Activity increases mental and physical wellbeing

Cons of a Second Home

While the list above makes owning a second home seem pretty great, it’s worth noting that it is not all sunshine and rainbows. Renting out a home (whether long-term or short-term) takes a lot of work, and that (as well as the following cons) should be taken into consideration before signing any paperwork.

  • Takes a while to see a profit
  • Having to purchase landlord or second home insurance
  • Higher interest rate
  • Cost of maintenance and property upkeep

Final Thoughts

Ultimately, whether or not you should buy a second home is up to you. You need to take into account what will bring you the most happiness during retirement and follow that path, because that is what retirement is all about, after all! For more help deciding if this is the right move for you, check out the infographic in this article from Hippo Insurance.

About the Author:

This guest post was provided by Sarah Hollenbeck is a homeowner and writer for Hippo insurance. She lives in Austin, Texas, where she can often be found working on home improvement projects or taking her dogs on walks around town lake.

If it has been a long time since you have purchased a home, you might want to give yourself a refresher class by reading a book such as "The Super Simple Home Buyers Handbook: Our Best Tips and Help in Less Than 100 Minutes." (Ad)

You can find gifts for retirees and others at my Etsy Store, DeborahDianGifts:

Enjoyed this post? Never miss out on future posts by following us.  You will receive a weekly email with the most current post. 
If you are interested in learning more about financial planning for retirement, where to retire, Social Security, Medicare, common medical issues as you age, and more, use the tabs or pull down menu at the top of the page to find links to hundreds of additional helpful articles.

Disclosure: This blog may contain affiliate links. If you decide to make a purchase from an Amazon ad, I'll make a small commission at no extra cost to you.

You are reading from the article:

Photo credit: Sarah Hollenbeck and Hippo Insurance

Friday, March 12, 2021

Amazon Savings Tips - How to Save Money Shopping Online

A few years ago, I planned to purchase a book on Amazon for one of my grandsons.  When I learned that he already had the book, I never completed the purchase.  For years afterwards, I received notices from Amazon every time the price for the book went down.  Amazon seemed to never forget my interest in that book. Last year, I was purchasing a sweater on Amazon, but didn't like the color which was displayed in the ad.  When I checked out the other available colors, I learned that the price changed depending on the color.  Who knew?  On another occasion, I discovered that the price of some clothing can change depending on the size. Now, before purchasing anything, I see if there is a way I can save money using a variety of Amazon tips and tricks.  Below are the most important lessons I have learned while shopping on Amazon, and some of these tips may work on other online sales sites, as well.

Tips to Save Money on Amazon and Other Online Stores

Join Amazon Prime or your favorite shopping service - With four adult children, eight grandchildren and a number of other relatives, I shop frequently on Amazon and, occasionally, at, and other online shopping sites.  Belonging to Amazon Prime means that most of the gifts I buy, and have shipped directly to our grandchildren, arrive quickly and the shipping is free.  For about $5, I can even have the items gift bagged.  Macy's will also provide free shipping for many gifts; Walmart and Target will provide free shipping at certain price points.  Check with the services you prefer and make sure you are getting the maximum benefit from that store.  Read their list of perks carefully.  For example, some people do not realize that belonging to Amazon Prime also means access to many free movies and television series through their streaming service.  Determine how much you expect to purchase from that company each year and decide if paying to join their "club" will save you money on shipping and/or discounts which are not available to non-members.

Leave items in your shopping cart, especially if you are not in a hurry - Choosing an item and then leaving it in your virtual shopping cart could mean you will eventually get offered a lower price for the item.  Do not expect them to lower the price within a few hours.  However, if you are not in a hurry and can wait a few weeks, you could get a better deal.

Try all the different color options - Whether you are buying clothing, shoes, small kitchen appliances, or other electronic devices, check the item out in every color option.  Some colors are more popular and more expensive than others.  If the color doesn't matter to you, it is possible to get a better deal by choosing a less popular color.  Other small changes can make a difference in the price, too. I purchased two necklaces last Christmas in the shape of the first initials of some friends.  Much to my surprise, the letter "S" for that particular necklace design was half the price of the letter "L."  I have no idea why, but it was quite a surprise. When the necklaces arrived, they were exactly the same in color, size and pattern, except for the shape of the letter.

Take advantage of online coupons - Often, the Amazon ad itself will say that there is a discount available, if you check the box or enter the code they provide you.  All you have to do is copy and paste the code into the proper box or, in some cases, simply check the box.  Make sure you take advantage of it!  While on the site, you can also do a search for "Amazon coupons,"  (Ad) and get more coupon codes. 

My Capital One credit card also has a service which lets me know if there are any discounts available for that item, and it automatically applies them, whether I am using my Capital One credit card or not!  If  you purchase the item frequently, and are willing to subscribe and have them ship the item to you on a regular schedule, you may also get a discount.

Another Amazon price tracking site, called, will alert you when an item reaches your desired price and will tell you its price history. This is another great way to know that you are getting the item at the best possible recent price.

Take advantage of cash back and rewards credit cards - Amazon will give you up to $100 in free spending when you sign up for their credit card.  You will also accumulate 5% cash back on every purchase.  You can get a direct payment for the "cash back reward" when it grows large enough, or apply it to a future purchase, or apply it to your bill.  That's a very quick and easy way to save money on your purchases!

Do comparison shopping - Before purchasing an air purifier for our home, I checked out the brand I wanted on both and Amazon (Ad).  The one on Walmart was on sale and also included free shipping.  Do not get so tied to one company that you are afraid to shop around.  I saved nearly $50 by switching to Walmart for that purchase.  You can also comparison shop right on Amazon.  They often have items available from "Other Sellers on Amazon," and sometimes you can purchase the item from one of these other sellers for less money.  Watch out, though.  You may not get fast, free delivery, so you want to take that into consideration.  If you save enough money, though, it may be worth it.

Consider buying used items - Amazon lists their used and returned items as "Renewed"  (Ad) or "Warehouse Open Box"  (Ad) items.  If you are willing to buy a used or refurbished item, you can still get a refund if it disappoints you and you return it shortly after receiving it.  Check out the details carefully before making the purchase, but it may be the perfect way to get a good deal.

Look at specialty departments for interesting gifts - Amazon also has a section called Amazon Handmade (Ad) and Amazon Launchpad. (Ad)  The first one is similar to Etsy and is a fun way to discover handmade and personalized gifts.  Of course, you will want to shop around and look at similar items on Etsy, too.  Amazon Launchpad is a good way to find new, innovative products which are unique.  Both of these departments are a great way to find that special gift from the security of your home.

Think twice before buying a protection plan - If you made the purchase using a credit card, you may already have an extended warranty.  Make sure you understand the benefits provided by your various credit card companies and then use the one which has the best benefits ... extended warranties, cash back or other benefits. 

Essentially, you want to make sure you save money and get the most out of every online purchase.  Not only are you saving time and money by not running around from store to store, but you also can save money by doing many of the same things you would do in a store ... comparison shop, find unique gifts, and use coupons.  Best of all, you can do it all safely from your home.

In addition to shopping on Amazon, you can find gifts for retirees and others at my Etsy Store, DeborahDianGifts:

Enjoyed this post? Never miss out on future posts by following us.  You will receive a weekly email with the most current post. 

If you are interested in learning more about saving money, financial planning, Social Security, Medicare, where to retire, common medical issues as you age, travel and more, use the tabs or pull down menu at the top of the page to find links to hundreds of additional helpful articles.

Disclosure: This blog may contain affiliate links. If you decide to make a purchase from an Amazon ad, I'll make a small commission at no extra cost to you.

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Photo credits:  Getty images

Friday, March 5, 2021

Dental Implants - Which Kind do You Need?

A significant number of Americans, especially older Americans, are missing some or all of their teeth.  In fact, according to epidemiological studies cited by, "it is estimated that 178 million Americans are missing at least one tooth and about 40 million Americans are missing all of their teeth."  Some of these people learn to live with the gap in their mouth, although that can lead to other problems.  Many people get dentures. However, the preferred option, when possible, is to replace the missing teeth with implants which come as close as possible to your natural teeth.

Recently, I was approached by Mike Khorev with Markham Smile Center about writing a post for our readers explaining the difference between "All on Four" and "All on Six Dental Implants."  Until his submission, I was not even aware that there were different types of implants, so I felt my readers who are considering getting implants would be especially interested in learning more about this topic.  At the very least, I would encourage my readers to learn everything they can about the topic before getting implants.  As always, I believe in encouraging my readers to be informed consumers, particularly of something as personal and expensive as implants.

With that thought in mind, you may also want to read "A Patient's Guide to Dental Implants: All-on-4" (Ad).  It expands on the information in Mike Khorev's article, which is published below:

All-on-Four vs All-on-Six Dental Implants

by Mike Khorev  

Naturally, we are all growing old. Part of this experience may mean losing the things which have helped us spread happiness and positive vibes – our teeth. The loss of teeth is most often experienced by people as they age. There are various options patients may choose, such as dentures or other dental procedures, which dentists can recommend, upon consultation. Dentures are usually the option of patients; however, the hassle attached to them makes a lot of patients venture into a more convenient option. The ‘All On’ method bringing comfort and a complete set of teeth to the elderly and others who have suffered tooth loss.

‘All-On’ refers to the installation of all teeth – complete sets. ‘All-On’ varies depending on how many implants are fitted, through surgery, into your jawbones. ‘All on 4’ and ‘All on 6’ are the two types of ‘All On’ methods. Basically, ‘All-On-4’ refers to a complete set of teeth with four attached titanium screws which are surgically inserted into the patient’s jawbones, while ‘All-On-6’ is somewhat like the other but means having six titanium screws which serve as an anchor, and are implanted into the jawbones.

These methods are recommended for people who have lost a number of teeth. Through this process, wearers will feel a level of comfort and confidence they were not able to achieve with the use of normal dentures. These methods create a more concrete feeling of connection between their jawbones and artificial teeth each time they eat.

Here are some important pointers you need to know about the two ‘All On’ methods:


Also known as Full-arch fixed implant bridges

All-on-4 or Full-arch fixed implant bridges are bridges that are usually supported by four dental implants. The bridges (complete set of teeth) are attached through the four dental implants which function as roots. These provide a secured, fixed, and stable set of new teeth to the patients.

Prevent future bone loss in the jaw

Without the presence of teeth, the jaw might suffer from bone loss. This will cause a breakdown affecting the structure of the face. Having ‘All-On’ implants helps to maintain the structure of the jaw bone. The use of removable dentures will make faces appear sunken, and the person will look older. These procedures are the option chosen by many, as the complete set is installed easily and quickly.

Maintains a more youthful facial structure

The ‘All-On’ method keeps the jaw bone’s original structure. These titanium implants help maintain the jawbone by stimulating it and keeping it strong. The titanium screws which are surgically inserted into the jaw will merge with the jaw bone over time. This reduces complete bone degradation, as these implants block impacts, adding biting strength and force.

Better oral health

With the utilization of the ‘All-on-4’, you will no longer experience the hassle of putting expensive adhesives onto your old dentures. The messy cleaning procedures and money you are going to spend over time with dentures will not be a problem, anymore. You just need to maintain normal oral cleaning habits as well as dental check-ups.

Last at least 20 to 25 years

With proper care, these implants will last up to twenty-five years or longer. Although, you might need some adjustments and other dental work over time.


Also known as Full Dental Implants

This is sometimes referred to as full dental implant restoration or full arch replacement. This utilizes six implants placed in the upper or lower jaw bone to place a set of teeth permanently.

Restore the entire upper or lower arch of teeth in one complete bridge

‘All-on-6’ solves the entire lower and upper sets of teeth right in full bridges. This minimizes the invasive procedures to be done orally, compared to individual oral implants.

The number of Implants required may vary

In ‘All-On-4’, two implants are placed on the upper jaw (maxillary jaw) and two on the lower jaw (mandibular jaw), this is to connect four rows of bridges together while in ‘All-On-6’, two extra implants are added which serve as an anchor to make the bridges tight and fixed.

The success rate is high

Implantation methods of improving people’s oral health have been proven over many years. ‘All-On’ methods have a high success rate of over 90%, dependent on after-surgery care and maintenance.

Recovery time is between four to six months

Estimated full healing takes effect after four to six months, depending on the patient's care measures. During the healing period, you need to carefully follow the recommended dos and don’ts, including the food and drinks you need to consume, and follow precautionary measures.

It is very important for patients to know what method of oral improvement they should undergo. Moreover, they must understand the importance of maintaining oral health and serious consequences of failing to do so, such as bone loss. Early action may help you avoid future problems.

Missing a number of teeth and want to expand your knowledge of the perfect oral treatment for you? Contact dentists at Markham Smile Center today!

* * * * * * *

Many people are unaware of how important our oral health is to over overall health.  To learn more about this link, you may want to read "It's All in Your Mouth: Biological Dentistry and the Surprising Impact of Oral Health on Whole Body Wellness." (Ad)  If nothing else, this book will inspire you to take better care of your teeth!

You can find gifts for retirees and others at my Etsy Store, DeborahDianGifts:

Enjoyed this post? Never miss out on future posts by following us.  You will receive a weekly email with the most current post. 

If you are interested in learning more about common medical issues as you age, where to retire, Social Security, Medicare, financial planning, and more, use the tabs or pull down menu at the top of the page to find links to hundreds of additional helpful articles.

Disclosure: This blog may contain affiliate links. If you decide to make a purchase from an Amazon ad, I'll make a small commission at no extra cost to you.

You are reading from the article:

Photo credit:  Mike Khorev

Friday, February 19, 2021

Pets and Seniors - How they Help Each Other

Instinctively, many of us have always realized how much it helps us to own a pet during retirement, although we may not have given it much thought. In fact, during the Covid pandemic, pet adoptions increased dramatically, as people of all ages sought the companionship of a pet, especially if they expected to spend a lot of time alone. Having a pet broke up the solitude for many lonely seniors who were unable to see friends and family because of  Covid.  Many of them were very creative in their choice of pets, too. Recently, I met a neighbor who was out walking her very large pet turtle!

Pet adoptions nearly emptied the kennels in a number of animal shelters, providing homes to animals who might never have been adopted, if it had not been for the pandemic.  Many of the adopted animals were  older, more "mature" animals, which are often overlooked in the shelters, so adopting them was a great service. 

Although millions of seniors own a pet, it is a topic which has never been covered on the Baby-Boomer-Retirement blog before, so I welcomed the offer from Johny Kershaws to write a guest post on the topic. In the article below, Johny explains how much owning a pet can help the seniors who own them.  Animals have so much to teach us. An interesting book on the topic is "What I Learned from My Dog: My Life's Lessons Journal." (Ad)  

Benefits of Pet Ownership for Seniors

by Johny Kershaws

Call it whatever you prefer it to be – pet therapy, pet-assisted counseling, or pet care – the advantages of pet ownership for senior citizens have been widely recognized and acknowledged for generations.

Animals have been shown to relieve pain, reduce loneliness, and provide elders around the world with loyalty and emotional support. Loneliness is a factor in many seniors' poor health. Consequently, you can improve the quality of your life through pet ownership as a way to avoid loneliness, dissatisfaction, inadequacy and feelings of low self-worth.

The most prevalent types of pets owned by older people are cats and dogs, ranging from Chihuahuas to Golden Retrievers, but the list also includes rabbits, farm animals, birds, fish, and turtles as likely options. Some senior living communities allow pets, which is an important issue to consider if you or your parent is considering moving into one with an animal.

Among the benefits of pet ownership are: 

1. Pets Combat Loneliness

Just petting an animal can decrease your stress and make you feel more comfortable, because the touch releases "feel good" dopamine chemicals in your nervous system. In addition, owning a pet makes you more likely to talk with strangers, especially while out walking your dog or enjoying a day at the dog park.

Moreover, you may quickly realize that owning a pet will frequently give you opportunities to chat with nearly anyone, whenever you are out with your pet.

2. Animals Can Ease Anxiety and Pain

For many senior citizens, pain is an all too common experience, and anxiety can often make the pain feel worse.

Older people sometimes have health problems such as osteoporosis and arthritis which cause periodic pain. A pet can reduce their discomfort and contribute to the relief of their pain. In several studies, pet therapy has proven very effective in reducing symptoms among seniors who have suffered trauma.

Many elderly people have even asserted that their pets took away their pain. The production of oxytocin in the brain, a positive hormone, is often increased when interacting with pets. This hormone also reduces the sense of anxiety and pain in people.

3. Pets Encourage Seniors to Stick to a Routine

For a healthy lifestyle, it is very important to adhere to a routine, especially for senior citizens who no longer work or have another reason to follow a schedule.  When you own a pet, you become accountable to another living creature. This is true even if you own something as simple as a fish or turtle. You must guarantee that food, water, training, maintenance, and other needs are addressed in a timely manner for your pet. Taking care of another living creature makes seniors more likely to take care of their own needs, too, such as following a regular schedule themselves for eating, sleeping, and getting exercise.

4. Animals Keep Seniors Mentally Active

Over half (62%) of the seniors surveyed said they maintained a regular routine by taking care of their beloved pets, and 73% claimed they had a sense of purpose which was reawakened by having a pet.

After you retire, if an individual has little sense of purpose, the risk of depression increases. This higher rate of depression can sometimes lead to lower cognitive ability, since you may feel there is nothing worthwhile for you to do each day. Being able to feed, walk, care for, and play with an animal can begin to fill those empty hours and help keep your mind sharp.  In addition, if you walk a dog or play with your cat, you will also get exercise, benefiting both you and the animal.

5. Pets Help You Remain Social

As mentioned, depression may be devastating in senior citizens, and isolation has been shown to increase heart disease rates by 29 percent to 32 percent. In an analysis of 70 studies with 3.4 million individuals, the chance of death is 30 percent higher in the following seven years if you become more isolated in retirement.

In a recent survey, however, 65 percent of  older pet owners stated their animals helped them stay connected to other people, because they often socialize with other pet owners. Of course, most pet owners also interact with and talk to their animals, which reduces their feelings of loneliness, too!

6. Handling Animals Can Lower Blood Pressure

A pet can help you stay healthy in a variety of ways, including reducing your blood pressure. In some studies, pet ownership has been shown to reduce the risk of heart complications after heart attacks.  Many small lapdogs, like Chihuahuas and others, are especially suitable for seniors because of their small size and personality.  Holding one can also reduce your stress, which helps to lower your blood pressure.

7· Many Pets Help Their Owners Stay Active

Larger pets, such as dogs and cats, must engage in some physical activity regularly. This workout can come in the form of regular walks, playing with a ball, chasing after toys, and similar activities. The pet's daily training requirements may differ from one breed to another, but most of them need their owner to engage them in a certain amount of physical activity, which is also a way for the owner to get  exercise, as well.

Failure to provide exercise can cause your pet to become overweight and bored. Owners can avoid this by keeping their pets physically fit. Even very elderly seniors can sometimes find a way to satisfy the physical needs of their pets by tossing a ball to their dog, dangling a toy in front of their cat, or playing with them in other ways. In addition, pets help keep seniors moving as they perform basic tasks, such as feeding their pet, bathing it, taking it to the vet, and doing similar things for it.  

If you intend to get a dog, choose one which will fit your way of life.  Take into consideration the needs and requirements of the animal. If you live in a senior apartment or living community which allow pets, it is especially important to choose the correct breed and size dog. 

You may want to read a book like "Every Dog: A Book of Over 450 Breeds."  (Ad) It contains pictures of the different types of dogs, as well as information on their size, exercise requirements, ease of training, affection, and whether they are likely to be good with your grandchildren. It can be a useful tool before you choose the dog you want to own during retirement. 

8. Pets Relieve Stress

Many types of pets seem incredibly wise. They frequently are aware of the mental state of their owners and may try to provide them with comfort and companionship when they need it the most.

Animals can be regarded as essential stress-breakers. All too often, they know exactly how to save the day for their owners.

Our brain rests when we are with our pets. Having an animal around tends to boost brain oxytocin development, which reduces stress and tension in our bodies.  That is one reason so many people have pets as comfort animals.

9. Animals Can Ease Depression

Unfortunately, many older adults are lonely later in life. They may spend a lot of time by themselves because of health problems which keep them home, the death of their partner, adult children who are unable to visit, or even an unexpected worldwide pandemic which forces shutdowns and closures.

It is not easy on anyone to be alone, because most of us crave companionship. Without it, it is common to become depressed, which is terrible for your health.

One way to help us feel free from loneliness is by caring for a pet. Your dog, cat or other pet can become your buddy, bring you joy, and just be there for you.

Their wagging tail is a sign that you are the center of their lives. Knowing this brings joy to their owners.

10. Pets, Especially Dogs, Provide A Sense Of Security

Finally, having an animal in your home can offer a sense of comfort, peace, and security. Pets, in particular dogs, will often alarm their owners if someone unfamiliar is at the door or tries to enter the house. However, they are not the only animals which can aid in your personal security. Cats and birds have also been known to create loud sounds, and even attack, when their owner appears to be at risk. Owning an animal can make you much more secure when you live alone.

However, not all animals meet the needs of every senior citizen. Before you bring an animal home, take a little time to think about the right one to meet your personal needs and fit your situation. Consult a veterinarian to learn about the pros and cons of various types of pets you are considering. Make sure you also take into consideration the cost of owning each kind of animal, including food, grooming, and potential veterinarian bills.  You should also consider who will care for the pet if you travel or need to go into the hospital.

You may be interested in reading about the various types of pets (Ad) and the advantages and disadvantages of each.   This could help you avoid unexpected issues before you spend a lot of money on a pet which may not be right for you. 

Bottom line:

Dogs have always been one of the most popular choices in pets for seniors, followed by cats, although there are other options you may want to consider. You have to decide which type of pet is the right choice for you.

Dogs, in particular, are renowned for their devotion to their humans, and for their unconditional affection. Keeping a dog, cat or other pet at home will not only relieve your sense of isolation, but will also encourage you to lead a more productive, happier and safe existence.

About the author:  The writer of this post is a pet lover who owns a dog and loves to write about everything related to pets. She is a frequent writer and contributor to top online pet publications and blogs, including  Dog Breeds 911 and Pet Friendly Senior Living.

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Photo credit: Photo provided by Johny Kershaws