Long-Term Care For Aging Parents And Their Four Legged Friends

Please Share

Most of us understand how pets bring joy to people and why they are important. This is particularly true for older folks who may have lost loved ones and who have also lost regular human companionship. A dog or cat can provide that unconditional love we all need.

More assisted living facilities and homes where elders live independently now allow pets, with certain restrictions, such as size and weight of the pet. When visiting my 95-year-old mother in law, Alice, we often see people walking their dogs around the place. It’s a senior’s community which offers independent living apartments as well as assisted living. Like many of that type, it’s pet-friendly. In other locations, such as nursing homes, pet programs include bringing in dogs, birds or other small creatures for the residents to pet and play with on scheduled visits. The residents love it. Elders with dementia often relate very well to the creatures who visit.

It’s not all fun though. When an older person lives alone in declining health, he or she may not be able to adequately care for the pooch or kitty. Someone has to take their animal to the vet for their shots or for treatment with the various ailments older pets suffer from just as their human counterparts do: arthritis, pneumonia, flu, etc. And a frail elder with balance issues may not be entirely safe with a rambunctious dog that likes to jump up, run around them and increase the risk of tripping or falling on Rover. Canes and walkers don’t always mix well with beloved pets.

Families have to consider the pros and cons of keeping the pet on hand as a parent ages, perhaps has vision problems or is unsteady on his feet. Some families take in the parent’s cherished animal and bring the pet to visit Mom or Dad at the seniors’ residence. Some elders are forced to part with their favorite four-legged friend when a move to a new residence and loss of ability to drive makes it impossible to care for the pet properly.

As a dog lover myself, I can only say that all solutions should be considered before the heartbreak of separating anyone from an animal they love. There are dog walkers who can be paid to exercise a loved one’s pooch every day, run them to the vet, ensure that pet medication is given and that the dog or cat gets all needed care. Caregivers helping an aging parent may be recruited to care for a pet right along with caring for its owner. When recruiting a caregiver, that additional responsibility could be included in the job description, perhaps with a pay bonus for certain additional chores. Finally, if it is impossible to keep the pet where the parent lives, it is an act of caring to find a way for someone in the family, a neighbor or friend to adopt the animal and bring it for regular visits to see its owner. That’s good for the human and good for the pet too.

It’s not fair to any pet to allow it to be neglected as an aging parent becomes cognitively impaired. Memory loss might mean forgetting to feed the animal or keep it safe. We don’t want to see any pet with less care than it needs because the elder’s family forgot about the risks of aging and how the aging parent might do unintentional harm to the animal. Cognitive decline, “early dementia”, Alzheimer’s disease and many other problems can pose a danger to the pet. Considering long-term care plans for your elders, be sure to consider a matching long-term care plan for the elder’s animals. Their pets are indeed family too and do a lot to comfort and support an aging person with communication difficulty or even with the loneliness that so many elders face. That furry cuddle from the cat or that doggie smile with a wagging tail can give your aging parent a lift that goes beyond what words can say.

If your family is finding a challenge now with how to care for aging loved ones, get the expert help you need at AgingParents.com. Our nurse-lawyer, psychologist team can save you hours of time and aggravation in helping you solve the stickiest problems.

Tiny URL for this post:
 

Please Share
JUST RELEASED “The Family Guide To Aging Parents”
Stack Of CashCheck out our latest website: AgingInvestor.com click HERE to learn more
FREE Report: “One Critical Step You Must Take To Avoid Your Aging Parents Debts”
CLICK on the image Below
Testimonials by our readers
"Thank you for the article on the "grey area". It validated what I am currently going through with my Mother. It is so painful for me to go back and forth with her behavior. I just don't know what to do about the estranged sister who has exploited well over $50K of my mother's savings and my Mothers admitted " lack of "will power" to say no to her." Robert ________________________________ "I do want to thank you for the Webinar you offered. It helped me a great deal as I was facing the need to lead our family in finding a safe living situation for our mother. That information and the other information you offered as downloads gave me much needed guidance when I was feeling tremendous anxiety and uncertainty." Betty
FREE Report: 10 Warning Signs Your Aging Parent Needs Help With Money
Get Quick Tips – Newsletter FREE…. Just CLICK Below
Categories
Archives
  • Longevity: Do You Really Want It? August 1, 2020
    Longevity: Do You Really Want It? Hello again, Carolyn and Mikol here. We’re thinking about longevity a lot more when we visit Mikol’s Mom, Alice who is 91. She has friends who are 96 and 98.  Still going.  Is it…Read more ›
    Mikol Davis
  • Why Aren’t Our Aging Parents Getting The Message About Financial Abuse? August 1, 2020
    By AgingParents.com©2020 By Carolyn Rosenblatt, RN, Attorney, AgingParents.com Cities and counties have educational programs. So do senior centers. Public information about financial elder abuse is offered by AARP.  And yet, we still have a $36B a year problem of money…Read more ›
    Carolyn Rosenblatt
  • Great Resource Links August 1, 2020
    Alzheimer’s Association – national voluntary organization dedicated to researching the prevention, cures, and treatments of Alzheimer’s Disease. Includes information about the disease and available services. Alzheimer’s Caregiver Support – online education, support, and resources for caregivers. Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center…Read more ›
    Mikol Davis
  • Remembering My Father July 4, 2020
    I lost my father Joe Davis 12 years ago today. My sister Michele reminded me that Dad always stood for freedom for all of us together.
    Mikol Davis
FREE Report: Mental Wellness Technique For Stress Relief