If your senior parent has been inquiring about getting a pet, such as a dog or a cat, here are a few things to consider before adding a new furry family member into their home care routine.
Having an animal at home requires a certain amount of time on a daily basis. Letting the animal outside, sometimes requiring walks several times a day for those without fences, feeding, brushing, and offering them companionship so that they don’t get bored or lonely are all things that seniors and caregivers must keep in mind.
Make sure your senior doesn’t have any allergies to dogs or cats before bringing any animals into their home. If allergies are unknown, have them spend time with an animal either at a shelter or at the home of a friend, family member, or neighbor who has a pet before committing to becoming a permanent pet owner. Also check with their caregiver before bringing an animal into the home.
There is a big financial commitment when becoming a pet owner. Puppies require initial vaccinations as well as regular boosters, and monthly preventative medications. And older dogs tend to require more expensive vet visits as they age. Proper nutrition is important too, and the size of the pet will determine the monthly cost of the food they will consume. Grooming and nail trims must also be done regularly, depending on the breed, and can add to the list of financial responsibilities that come with owning a pet.
Depending on the age and temperament of the pet, training may be something that is needed to make the most of the relationship between your senior and their new animal. Training takes time, consistency, and patience, so keep this in mind when picking out an animal companion for your loved one getting home care. Older animals that have already been housebroken and trained might be a good option for your senior parent.
There are also a number of benefits to owning a pet, such as:
Having a pet in the home can give a senior companionship that they may not have otherwise, and help them manage loneliness and depression. For seniors left alone for some periods of time, this could be a relief to family members.
Owning a pet can increase the likelihood of getting outside to exercise and socialize. Your senior parent might even make a friend or two while out for a walk with their animal.
Knowing that their pet depends on them to feed, water, and care for it can give seniors a great sense of purpose in their lives.
Health benefit. Regular walking or playing with pets can decrease blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and triglyceride levels in humans, research shows.
Companion animals can make a great addition to the lives of seniors getting home care if they have the time and commitment to make it work.
Are you or a loved one considering hiring a Caregiver in South Jordan, UT? Please talk to the friendly staff at December Rose Senior Care at Home. Providing Home Care in Highland, Utah and Surrounding Communities. 801-427-ROSE (7673)
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