Pets are some of the best companions that a person can have. They also offer extra benefits to seniors. In honor of national adoption month, keep reading to learn how beneficial pets are to seniors and the things to consider when bringing a pet home to an elderly owner.
Benefits of Owning a Pet
Owning a pet is rewarding for many reasons. One of the main ones is companionship. Having a dog, cat, or another animal you enjoy can be a great source of comfort, particularly in these difficult times. Pets also give their owners a sense of purpose. They require feeding, proper amounts of water, exercise, and attention. This helps seniors take their minds off the emotional or physical pain they may experience and reduce feelings of stress.
Service and Therapy Dogs
Seniors who need assistance or additional support may also qualify for a therapy or service dog. There are organizations throughout the country that specialize in raising and training dogs for this purpose. However, this process is quite involved and not everyone will qualify or want to go through the process of getting a service dog. The good news is that not every service dog will make it through training. As a result, organizations put these dogs up for adoption. It may cost more to adopt a dog like this compared to the local pound or humane society. But it’s an option for seniors concerned about finding a dog with the right temperament or basic training.
Considerations When Adopting a Pet
Being able to physically take care of a dog is a concern for elderly people, especially when it comes to walking. Dogs with the right temperament for the elderly person should be able to walk with them safely. If getting out for a walk every day or going on long walks is difficult, consider asking a friend, neighbor, or family member if they wouldn’t mind taking the dog out. This is a common issue for pet owners regardless of their age and there are options out there to help dogs stay healthy and active.
Adopting other pets such as a cat, rabbit, or reptile mean that they have different needs other than walking. Before adopting a pet, make sure that these needs can be met by the senior or someone else willing to help out.
Finally, make sure that the pet in question is in good health. Health problems can increase stress and costs for seniors and cause them emotional distress.
If you’re looking for a human companion for a senior in Newport Beach or Orange County, reach out to Optimal Senior Care Solutions today. We offer assistance to seniors including help with pet care. And, all our family trusted home care services can be individually combined into an affordable package that will restore your peace of mind! For more information about Optimal Senior Care Solutions, or to schedule a FREE, in-home assessment for your senior, please contact Optimal Senior Care Solutions now.