Choosing a Pet for your Senior
As a caregiver, perhaps your aging parent has approached you about adopting a pet. Pets can alleviate loneliness in seniors as well as gives them a purpose by being responsible for another living being.
The benefits of pet ownership are multiple for both the owner and the pet, so long as thoughtful consideration is given to which kind of pet is best for your parent and her current lifestyle. And while you can indeed enlist the help of a caring elderly care professional for some aspects of raising a pet, whatever you and your parent decide to purchase, should be a good life-time fit for her.
As you and your parent discuss some of the more common pets she can choose from, here are a few key factors to take into consideration.
Known for their loyalty and affection, dogs can be the perfect companion for someone seeking to have a pet that is also a family member. Dogs can often be very in tune to their owner’s emotions and feelings, helping to comfort even the loneliest of people. On the flip side, a dog also requires a lot of companionship so if your parent isn’t home very much, the dog may experience its own loneliness.
Also important to consider is that many dogs require a somewhat high and consistent level of exercise. While an elderly care professional can help with dog walks or even giving the dog a bath when it gets dirty, your parent will want to keep those two factors in mind as well when choosing a dog.
A cat can often be just the right pet for someone seeking a friendly companion that usually doesn’t have a lot of physically demanding needs. Keeping the litterbox clean and managing the amount of cat hair around the home are often the most trying tasks of owning a cat. Luckily, if these are the only stumbling blocks to owning a cat for your aging parent, an elderly care provider may be able to help your parent with these duties if either your parent or you are not able to do it.
Rodents (rabbits, guinea pigs, gerbils)
These little balls of fluff can bring entertainment and the need to care for something into your parent’s home, and might be just what your parent needs to boost her spirits. While most rodents can live pretty happily in their cages (except rabbits, which will need some exercise time), those cages will get pretty dirty and need to be cleaned on a weekly basis. Make sure your parent is up to the task before purchasing or make plans to have another caregiver or elderly care provider manage that task.
Simply watching colorful fish glide through the water is a wonderful way to reduce stress and produce a sense of calm. Purchasing a fish can be as simple as a goldfish or beta fish in a little bowl or can be as elaborate as creating a large aquarium of colorful salt-water fish. As with all pets, there’s still cleaning to do with fish so review these tasks with a pet store owner and then come up with a plan so your parent can enjoy his fish while also knowing how he’ll make sure the tank stays clean and fresh.
Whichever pet you and your parent choose, it’s sure to be a welcome addition to your parent’s life and home.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering hiring Elderly Care in Shepherd, MI, please talk to the caring staff at Asona Home Health, LLC, today. Serving individuals and their families in Canadian Lakes, Mount Pleasant, Clare, and the surrounding areas. Call us 24/7 today at (989) 546-4269!