Tag Archives: Pet

Pet Ownership May Increase Age-In-Place Possibilities

Just as nursing homes and other senior care facilities have seen the therapeutic benefits of bringing dogs into visit patients, so too can a pet enhance the quality of life for your aging parents. Animals provide benefits to individuals that medical and other therapies can compare with; the cases of blood pressure being lowered simply by petting an animal have long been documented. Regardless of the reasons, having a pet in the household may help to keep your elderly family members active and healthy.

 

Here are five ways that having a companion animal in the house may help your aging relatives age-in-place:

 

  1. Keeping active. When you own an animal – whether a cat, dog, bird or other – you have to feed it, care for it and walk it. The idea of having to take care of another living being can give your aging relatives a reason to get out of bed in the morning. While you certainly don’t want to have a rambunctious puppy underfoot, a senior dog could fit the bill.
  2. Man (or woman’s) best friend. A pet can provide companionship and this is especially helpful for a widow or widower. A pet can help combat loneliness which can lead to emotional and physical declines in health.
  3. Keeping up with routines. With a pet you need to feed it, walk it and give it attention and the routines are a great way to keep the mind of an aging person engaged. Because everyone understands that pets need certain attention, it can also motivate the elderly to properly take care of themselves as well.  A pet can add meaning to an elderly person’s life.
  4. Having little or no contact with friends or family or social interaction through church groups or other organizations can lead to emotional issues and even dementia. If you have an aging parent that has been withdrawing from social interaction, a pet may naturally draw them out and get them more involved with family.
  5. A reason to live. Having a pet to care for may actually extend your aging parents life. When you consider the reasons above, pet ownership provides the elderly with a reason to get out of bed in the morning and the sheer fact of having to be active to take care of the pet could lead to a longer, healthier life for your aging relative.

 

You certainly don’t want to rush out and adopt a pet for your parents unless you’ve talked with them first. Also, you will need to make arrangements for the pet in the event your parents can no longer care for it. It’s unfair to the pet to be given up for adoption simply because your parents can no longer care for it; a contingency plan needs to be put into place as to which family member will take the pet into his home when your parents can’t care for it. When you add a pet and a home medical alert device to your parent’s home, you are adding layers of protection, companionship and peace-of-mind that will allow them to age safely in place.

 

Pet Ownership May Increase Age-In-Place Possibilities

Just as nursing homes and other senior care facilities have seen the therapeutic benefits of bringing dogs into visit patients, so too can a pet enhance the quality of life for your aging parents. Animals provide benefits to individuals that medical and other therapies can compare with; the cases of blood pressure being lowered simply by petting an animal have long been documented. Regardless of the reasons, having a pet in the household may help to keep your elderly family members active and healthy.

 

Here are five ways that having a companion animal in the house may help your aging relatives age-in-place:

 

  1. Keeping active. When you own an animal – whether a cat, dog, bird or other – you have to feed it, care for it and walk it. The idea of having to take care of another living being can give your aging relatives a reason to get out of bed in the morning. While you certainly don’t want to have a rambunctious puppy underfoot, a senior dog could fit the bill.
  2. Man (or woman’s) best friend. A pet can provide companionship and this is especially helpful for a widow or widower. A pet can help combat loneliness which can lead to emotional and physical declines in health.
  3. Keeping up with routines. With a pet you need to feed it, walk it and give it attention and the routines are a great way to keep the mind of an aging person engaged. Because everyone understands that pets need certain attention, it can also motivate the elderly to properly take care of themselves as well.  A pet can add meaning to an elderly person’s life.
  4. Having little or no contact with friends or family or social interaction through church groups or other organizations can lead to emotional issues and even dementia. If you have an aging parent that has been withdrawing from social interaction, a pet may naturally draw them out and get them more involved with family.
  5. A reason to live. Having a pet to care for may actually extend your aging parents life. When you consider the reasons above, pet ownership provides the elderly with a reason to get out of bed in the morning and the sheer fact of having to be active to take care of the pet could lead to a longer, healthier life for your aging relative.

 

You certainly don’t want to rush out and adopt a pet for your parents unless you’ve talked with them first. Also, you will need to make arrangements for the pet in the event your parents can no longer care for it. It’s unfair to the pet to be given up for adoption simply because your parents can no longer care for it; a contingency plan needs to be put into place as to which family member will take the pet into his home when your parents can’t care for it. When you add a pet and a home medical alert device to your parent’s home, you are adding layers of protection, companionship and peace-of-mind that will allow them to age safely in place.

 

Add Quality of Life For The Elderly: Add A Pet To Their Household

Pet owners know that being a pet parent is not only a responsibility but is a great stress reliever  as well as a wonderful source of companionship. Thinking of your aging relative owning a pet may not, at first glance, seem like a good idea but it’s been proven that caring for a pet increases quality of life. It’s likely that your relatives are probably not suited for the rigors of raising a puppy, adopting an older dog from a shelter or dog rescue might be just what the doctor ordered.

Being faced with the empty nest or the loss of a spouse, may lead to seniors missing being able to nurture and care for something, and a pet just might fill that void. As senior citizens find their circle of friends growing smaller because of relocations, deaths or changes in interests or levels of activity, you may find them becoming disinterested and disengaged. Offering your aging parents a dog or cat on which they can dote and nurture might fill a void. Remaining active will allow the elderly to better face aging in place as will signing them up for a home medical alert system to keep them safe in the event of a trip or fall accident.

A dog in the house can provide a sense of security to the aging relative. You don’t have to adopt a large dog to feel a sense of security –- simply the idea of having a dog in the house that bark and sound an alert at either real or perceived threats. Studies do show that a home with a barking dog is less likely to be breached than one without.  In addition to having a pet in the house, equipping the home, and your relative, with a medical alert bracelet or pendant can add to peace of mind for the family.

Pets give their owners a reason to get up, get dressed and remain active. If your aging parent is living alone, he or she could easily become depressed and inactive if they feel they have no purpose. Pet ownership will you’re your elderly relatives active because they will feel compelled to take the dog outside to go to the bathroom and for brief walks around the yard. Keeping the dog groomed and fed are also activities that will keep your relatives engaged. You will need to match the activity level needed by the dog to the amount of activity your relative can feasibly undertake. Adopting an older dog who is likely less physically active than a puppy makes sense.

If the rigors of owning an older dog that needs little physical exercise seems too much for your aging relative, consider adopting a cat. Animal shelters are full of older cats looking for loving homes. Cats need as much nurturing as dogs but require less physical activity.

Simply having a dog or cat in the house can alleviate loneliness and boredom and provide your aging relative with a companion. Keep in mind, though that you will want to make arrangements for which family member will take on the responsibility of the pet once your aging parent is no longer able. Having a plan in mind for the pet’s care will put your parent’s mind at ease and will also make certain the pet doesn’t have to be surrendered.

Seniors that own pets are typically happier and life longer than seniors who don’t own pets and if your relatives are up to the task, perhaps owning a pet might be a great option for them to explore. Between having a pet to keep your aging relative active and having a home medical alert system offers peace of mind for the whole family.