Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Weighing the Advantages and Disadvantages of Seniors and Pets

A leader in home care, Always Best Care Burlington-Greensboro has long served to assist its professionals in helping seniors to create the best living spaces possible. For many elderly individuals, a positive, comfortable living environment encompasses beloved pets. Dogs and cats are most popular, but some seniors have birds and other pets, too. But is it really in your elderly loved one's best interest to take on the responsibility of a pet, and can your home care provider help in the care of the animal?

Pros of Having a Pet
Ultimately, pets provide a great deal of comfort to seniors. Individuals who are living alone, particularly, can benefit from the companionship of an animal. Dogs and cats are wonderful options, as they provide physical contact that has been shown to keep anxiety levels down and ward off feelings of isolation and loneliness. Pets can also be great sources of exercise to their owners, as dogs require daily walks and can serve to get their seniors out and about.

Cons of Having a Pet
While the companionship that a pet provides is undeniably beneficial to seniors, it is also true that there are some challenges that elderly individuals may face when trying to care for their animals. First and foremost are concerns of mobility, as seniors who cannot go for walks with their dogs may not be able to provide them with the amount of exercise that they need to stay healthy. Additionally, elderly individuals who have cats may have difficulty cleaning out the litter box on a regular basis, as this often requires bending over and handling large, heavy containers of litter. Finally, actually purchasing and transporting large bags of food and litter may be difficult for seniors.

Asking for Assistance
When considering whether or not to get a new pet or to keep a current one, it is important for seniors to determine what help they need and where they can find it. Oftentimes, home care providers can assist with the feeding of animals and other tasks, but this is something that should be approached on a case by case basis. If your loved one is facing challenges with this regard, talk to their eldercare professional to see how they can help.

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