Studies have shown that having a pet in their lives can make a tremendous difference in the health, well-being, and quality of life for elderly adults. Spending time with an animal can help your loved one enjoy better mental and emotional health, lower blood pressure, improved cardiovascular health, less stress and anxiety, lower risk for depression, and many other benefits. For many elderly adults, however, all of the tasks that are needed to take care of a pet are more than what they feel that they can accomplish due to their own challenges, limitations, and needs. This can make your parent feel as though having an animal in their life is something that is outside of the realm of possibility. Fortunately, this does not have to be the case. As a family caregiver, starting home care for your parent can be the ideal option for making having a puppy more accessible for your loved one.
Some of the ways that having a care provider can make it possible for your elderly parent to have a pet and enjoy the benefits of having this animal in their life include:
• Helping create and maintain a schedule. Routine and predictability are extremely important for elderly adults, and this is even more true when they welcome a pet into their lives. Caring for an animal properly means following a routine of feeding them, walking them, cleaning up after them, playing with them, and grooming them. This care provider can help your parent to establish this schedule and make sure that they stick to it so that the pet can get the care that it needs daily.
• Helping with strenuous care tasks. Some of the care tasks that your elderly loved one must complete when taking care of their puppy might be too difficult for them if they are dealing with certain limitations and challenges. Lifting large boxes or bags of food, for example, can be extremely difficult for seniors who struggle with balance, mobility, range of motion, or strength. A care provider can help your senior with these tasks so that they can be sure that their pet gets all of the care that it needs.
• Support with other care tasks. Even if your elderly loved one is capable of handling care tasks for their pet, they can still benefit from support, encouragement, and assistance. A care provider can be a valuable source of this support and assistance for your loved one. When your elderly parent needs to walk their puppy, for example, a care provider can be there with them to make sure that they remain safe and comfortable, use safe paths, and can even take over if your parent gets tired, ensuring that they do not get overly exhausted or injured. This can give them greater confidence doing more with their pet, such as taking longer walks or even joining a pet walking club that will give them more social interaction as well.
If you or an aging loved one are considering caregivers in St. Paul, MN, and the surrounding areas, please contact the friendly staff at CareBuilders at Home Minnesota. Call today 612-260-2273.