We all remember our beloved childhood pets who were as much a member of the family as our siblings were. However, what many people don’t realize is that a pet can be just as important for your parents or loved ones who are currently entering their golden years. Your aging Mom or Dad may be feeling lonely and depressed as they enter the later stages of their life. We can understand how this may be very difficult for you to see, and we want to help provide you with suggestions on how to best help your loved one combat these difficult emotions. At Milwaukee Home Care Assistance, we encourage our clients to consider adopting a pet as we have seen firsthand how animals can make a positive difference and enhance the lives of their owners.
For many seniors, old age begins a new and unfamiliar stage of life. Not only have their adult children and other family members moved away, but they may no longer be able to travel as easily or as much they used to.To help fill this void, many seniors are turning to pets.
Studies have shown that there is a healing power about pets, as they act as trustworthy partners, providing loyal companionship and unconditional love. Furthermore, the presence of a pet can help combat feelings of loneliness or depression, dramatically enhancing mood and overall well-being for your beloved parent or loved one.
In addition to the emotional benefits of pets, the daily responsibilities of caring for an animal can provide physical benefits. Whether it is feeding the cat or walking the dog on a regular basis, a pet provides structure to the senior’s dayand gives them a better sense of purpose, while also encouraging a more active lifestyle.
Selecting a Pet
A pet should be chosen based on your loved one’s age, physical capabilities and current residence. We want to make sure to take your loved one’s preferences into consideration and ensure the pet will be a safe and appropriate match for your loved parent to be around. For example, a large dog is a poor choice for someone who is unsteady on his or her feet or who lives in a small apartment. Conversely, an independently minded cat can be an excellent pet for a senior who needs companionship but who is unable to spend a large amount of time with the animal.
Thoughts for Caregivers
A pet can be a major responsibility, and it is important to ensure that your beloved parent or loved one can adequately care for his or her new family member. In addition, family caregivers in Milwaukee should make sure that the selected pet receives proper veterinary care upon adoption, as well as throughout its life. Finally, it will also be a good idea to find an alternative loving, safe home for the new pet in the event your parent or loved one can no longer provide adequate care to the pet. And while we understand it is difficult to think about, this will also help your parent or loved one feel rest assured that their beloved pet will have a new home in the event their pet(s) outlives him or her.
Are you or your elderly parents or loved ones pet owners? Share your stories with us! As the experts of home health care in Milwaukee, we are always looking for inspirational and uplifting stories to share with our clients.