Living with pets can be a beneficial and enjoyable experience for older people, but there comes a point where taking care of a pet might prove too much of a challenge.
This needn't be the case with live-in care. Your loved one can receive the support they need to keep living with pets - whether it's an old companion or a new addition.
Let's take a closer look:
Why pets can be so beneficial to older people
Pets provide companionship, mental stimulation, exercise, a sense of daily order and moments of affection, all of which take on increasing importance as people age.
Whether getting out and walking the dog, or reading on the sofa while stroking the cat, pets can be the source of treasured domestic moments.
According to the Society for Companion Animal Studies (SCAS), pets can have a positive effect on older people's health and wellbeing in several ways, including:
- Alleviating loneliness by providing companionship
- Providing a sense of purpose and structure in daily life
- Increasing attentiveness to self-care and nutritional needs
- Enhancing a perception of wellbeing
- Minimizing GP visits for minor conditions
- Lowering blood pressure
- Reducing verbal aggression and anxiety in people with Alzheimer's
Dementia Dogs is one of many charities and non-profit organisations set up to bring pets into the lives of the elderly. They select dogs to live with people with dementia, before training them to provide emotional support and carry out basic tasks like fetching medicine.
Live-in care enables older people to continue living with pets
There might well come a time when your loved one is no longer able to care for their pet. This could be due to a deterioration in their overall condition, or as the result of a move into residential care.
In such circumstances, your loved one would be faced with a difficult decision that could have a significant emotional impact.
Live-in care can help avoid this possibility by supporting your loved one in their own home. The care team can complete any pet-care tasks your loved one is finding difficult, and take on responsibility for actions they're no longer able to carry out.
The live-in care team can carry out the following tasks for pets:
- Buying food, toys and other pet-care products
- Ensuring they're given regular food and water
- Taking them for walks and visits to vets
- Monitoring their safety and wellbeing
- Grooming and washing them as needed
- Cleaning up any mess they might make
This will give you and your loved one the assurance that their pet is being cared for to the highest possible standard, while also enabling your loved one to keep spending quality time with them.
With pets providing a host of benefits in terms of physical and emotional health, it is worth considering every option to ensure your loved one can remain with their companion.
Unlike many other forms of care, live-in care recognises these positive effects and ensures the best possible care standards for both your loved one and their pet.
Learn more about how live-in care can support older people living with pets by calling on the friendly team at The Good Care Group.