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The Benefits of Pet Ownership for the Elderly, and How a Caregiver Can Help

The Benefits of Pet Ownership for the Elderly, and How a Caregiver Can Help
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The Benefits of Pet Ownership for the Elderly, and How a Caregiver Can Help

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Millions of people enjoy the love and companionship of having a pet. Many people consider their pets to be members of the family. Having a pet can be especially beneficial to seniors, who may live alone and may not leave the house as often as they did in the past. Owning a pet can have several clear benefits for seniors.

How Pets Can Help Seniors

Owning a pet, particularly a dog, can encourage seniors to be active. A dog needs to be walked several times a day, which can encourage an able-bodied senior to get outside to get some exercise and fresh air. That can help with weight control, arthritis, and overall health.

Pets provide social interaction. Dogs and cats love attention, whether it is in the form of playing, throwing a ball, or just lying on an owner’s lap. Most people talk to their pets. Having an animal around the house can make seniors feel less alone if they live by themselves and can make them feel like they have a companion around all the time.

Having a pet can also keep seniors engaged intellectually. A pet owner may have a question about a specific breed, a medical concern, or an issue related to training. This can encourage seniors to seek out information in books, magazines, or online. Seniors who stay mentally engaged can help fight off Alzheimer’s and dementia.

How a Caregiver Can Help with Pet Care

Of course, having a pet requires a lot of work. Dogs need to be walked several times a day (even in winter), cats need to have their litter boxes cleaned, and all pets need to be fed, have their nails trimmed, and be taken to the veterinarian. Some of these tasks may be challenging for seniors who have arthritis or other medical conditions or who are no longer able to drive.

A caregiver from Dependable Care can help with pet care. Our caregivers can feed a pet, walk a dog, clean a litter box, and accompany a senior to shop for pet supplies or go to the veterinarian’s office. This can allow seniors to continue to experience the joy, companionship, and other benefits of owning a pet.

Other Ways a Caregiver Can Help Seniors

Caregivers from Dependable Care can help in many other ways. They can provide assistance with shopping, cooking, cleaning, laundry, bathing, dressing, toileting, and other activities of daily living. If your loved one needs help with any or all of these tasks, contact Dependable Care today so we can match your family member with the right caregiver.

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