Are Pets a Good Idea For Seniors?

Are Pets a Good Idea For Seniors?

If the senior or seniors in your life have decided to age in place, it can have numerous advantages on their life. Some studies have shown that people who don’t move to retirement homes are happier and stay vital for longer. However, if you work full time, chances are that you won’t be able to visit them as often as you would like.

Senior care professionals like recommend that seniors get a pet for daily companionship. Naturally, there are some factors which determine whether it is a good idea or not, as well as the type of pet someone should get.

Do They Like Animals?

Even though getting a pet may seem like a good idea to you, it is important to consider your senior’s personality and preferences. You need to ask yourself if they will have enough patience for a new pet, as well as if they even want to take care of an animal. Some people don’t feel like they are capable of taking care of a pet. You should not push them into pet ownership since the goal is to help your senior to enjoy life, not to burden them.

The Health of the Senior

You will also need to take into account the health of your senior. If they are not very mobile and healthy, getting them an active pet may not be an ideal option. Perhaps a cat or a bird which do not require too much attention and physical activity to take care of.

However, if their health could be improved by going out and exercising more, a dog may be a perfect choice. Dogs need to be walked every day, and their cheerful disposition can have a positive psychological effect on them.

Financial Aspect

One of the most important things you should consider when choosing whether to get a pet is the cost. You can get a pet from a shelter, so they won’t cost any money upfront, but there are other costs associated with pets, like the food, kitty litter for cats and doggie bags for dogs, as well as veterinary care. Make sure that your senior can financially support the pet before you decide to get them one. Alternatively, you could aid them financially if they are not able to afford it alone.

The Age of the Pet

Even though you don’t think about that when you are planning to get a pet for yourself, the age of the pet may be important for seniors.

Getting them a young kitten or a puppy may seem dear, but training them, taking care of their needs, and keeping up with them can be a bit too much for a senior. An adult animal is ideal, since they will already have a formed personality which you can notice pretty quickly and determine whether it is a good match for your senior or not.

Why Get a Pet?

Even though there are some pitfalls that you need to be mindful of when choosing a pet for your senior, there are irrefutable advantages to having a pet. Some research has shown that pets have a relaxing effect on most people, meaning that a lot of related conditions may be improved as well. Some of the most commonly cited health improvements include a decrease in blood pressure and alleviation of depression.

However, one of the biggest advantages of having a pet is the increased socialization with other people which helps in the psychological sense. Deciding to get a pet for your senior takes serious consideration, but if you have reached the decision to get one, make sure that the pet doesn’t serve as a replacement for your involvement in your senior’s life, but as a welcome addition.

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