Pets bring a lot of benefits to our lives. Animals depend on you and provide companionship. They also help improve health, which can be especially beneficial as we age. Pets can:
- Lower depression and anxiety
- Reduce stress
- Lower blood pressure
- Improve mood
- Boost activity levels and social interactions
- Encourage a person to stick with a routine
Ultimately, pets provide purpose, and for an aging adult, it can be their reason for living.
We all need that feeling of being wanted, being needed. Pets can provide that, which is especially important if your aging parent lives alone. If you can’t visit them as regularly as you’d like, a pet can provide them with the love and support they need in their daily lives.
But having a pet only compounds the problems as problems arise. For some, a pet is equivalent to a child. Separating them can be as devastating as a loss. While aging parents have special needs, aging parents with pets up the ante on what it takes to thrive.
Create A Plan
Start by analyzing the situation, and updating your strategy on an as needed basis. Is your mom or dad able to care for the pet without any trouble? What’s needed to ensure both stay healthy? Does the pet need daily walks? How about cleaning up after them? Can your parents make it to the store to buy supplies? How about affording vet bills, haircuts, and other maintenance items? What your parents can’t do, you’ll have to rely on friends, neighbors, family, or services to do.
Find Services That Make Housecalls
The good news is a lot of pet services make housecalls. Find a vet who visits the home. Or a groomer who is on wheels. You can find people willing to walk dogs in a variety of places – how about a neighbor’s child who is a budding entrepreneur?
Invest In Pet Health Insurance
If your parent is on a budget, adding a pet can be a costly endeavor. Pet insurance might be an excellent choice to ensure yearly check ups and visits with health providers is affordable.
Choose Pets Wisely
Sure, puppies and kitties are cute, but they are also a lot of work. If you’re looking to adopt, talk with local rescue leagues who often have programs especially for seniors. They can find older, lovable pets that need a second chance. These pets can be especially loving, and perfect for your mom or dad.
What tips do you have for bringing a pet into your parents’ lives?