Pets can be a great source of joy, love and connectedness, especially for Seniors who live alone.

Pets seniorsResearch overwhelmingly shows that having a pets is very good for seniors. So much so that many Independent and Assisted Living communities allow pets. Animal visits to Nursing Homes or other facilities are looked forward to. Whether a fish, bird, cat or dog, a pet is a relationship, a valued one at that.

Sometimes, a pet is the only one left in one’s family, or at least the local family. Pets however require care. Dogs need to be walked, cats and birds need the litter box or cage cleaned and changed. This can create a fall risk for an Older Adult. They may not be able to walk the dog enough or the leash may cause a tripping risk. Still, this relationship is so important, it is worthwhile to find some solutions. 

 In-Home Care aides provide such solutions

Whether in an ILF or ALF, staff may assist with pet care as an add on fee. Certainly some pet care like litter boxes and walks are part of a good home care company. Most people can relate to the feelings of love we have for our four legged, finned and feathered friends. They give us a sense of purpose, love and can reduce depression. Therapy dogs for Veterans have become popular to help them acclimate and reduce anxiety and loneliness.  Clearly if the elder in your life is frai or has Dementia and cannot manage, safely having a pet, then trips to a pet store, zoo or visits by friends’ and family pets are a way to remain connected to animals. You may not want to get a new pet, but compassion is needed to prevent a separation. We all benefit from having a “best friend” who doesn’t judge, talk back or have expectations beyond, food, water, clean area and love

Caring for an older loved one often means caring for their pets also.