What to Consider before You Adopt a Pet for Your Senior Parent

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Research shows there’s a positive correlation between pet ownership and physical and mental benefits for seniors. With this in mind, many family caregivers are quick to visit their local shelters or pet shops. While your intentions may be good, there are several things that must be taken into consideration before adopting a pet for your aging loved one. 

An Easily Overlooked Safety Hazard

Cats and dogs can make great pets for seniors. However, they can also cause aging adults to trip or fall. For example, a senior with limited mobility or visual impairment could easily trip over a cat that likes to rub against the senior’s ankles or a dog that likes to lie at his or her feet.

Certain age-related conditions can make it more challenging for seniors to age in place safely and comfortably, but Auburn live-in care experts are available around the clock to help seniors manage their health. Whether your loved one is living with dementia or recovering from a stroke, you can trust the professional live-in caregivers from Home Care Assistance to enhance his or her quality of life. 

Anticipated Care & Maintenance

Caring for pets can be a reason for seniors to be physically active and even provide them with a sense of purpose. However, this is only true when the pet’s care routine is manageable. Depending on the type of pet, required care activities may be overwhelming and exhausting for a senior. Rushing to adopt a pet that doesn’t match the abilities of the senior is a common mistake families make. For example, adopting a puppy for a senior with arthritis, back pain, or limited mobility will likely be a poor choice because young dogs need a lot of exercise, training, and attention.

Seniors who need help caring for pets and looking after their own health can benefit from professional in-home care. Not every senior has the same care needs, which means they don’t all need the same type of at-home care. You can rely on Home Care Assistance to provide an individualized care plan to meet your elderly loved one’s unique care needs. Our holistic Balanced Care Method was designed to help seniors focus on healthy lifestyle habits, such as eating nutritious foods, exercising regularly, and maintaining strong social ties, and our Cognitive Therapeutics Method offers mentally stimulating activities that can stave off cognitive decline and delay the onset of dementia.

Increased Financial Responsibility

Caring for a pet comes with added financial responsibility, and some pets require more than others. For example, you may find a small dog that doesn’t require a lot of care and will provide fun, companionship, and physical activity for your loved one. While this sounds great, depending on the breed, it may require professional grooming on a routine basis. Costs for grooming and other items like food, toys, and medical needs can add up quickly.

There isn’t one specific pet that’s best for all seniors. However, adopting the wrong pets can easily become a source of stress for seniors and their caregivers, so families should focus on the selection process before making rash decisions. 

Though having a pet can be wonderful for boosting an aging adult’s emotional health, some seniors may face health challenges preventing them from taking care of a pet. If your senior loved one needs help managing an illness or assistance with daily tasks, make sure you choose a top-rated provider of homecare. Auburn Home Care Assistance is here to help your loved one live a happier and healthier life in the golden years. From the mentally stimulating activities in our Cognitive Therapeutics Method to our friendly Care Managers who are available to answer your questions 24 hours a day, we offer a wide array of high-quality at-home care services. For more information about our flexible, customizable home care plans, call one of our compassionate Care Managers today at (334) 744-7100.


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