As a family caregiver, you want your parent to be able to enjoy the highest quality of life. While there are many things you can do to help them accomplish this, one you might not immediately think of is having a furry companion. Pet ownership is valuable for many people but can offer particular benefits for seniors.
Having a pet in the home with them reduces depression and loneliness, improves their response to stress, lowers blood pressure, protects heart health, and more. If your senior struggles with challenges and limitations such as mobility issues, cognitive functioning decline, or others, you might be concerned about their ability to care for a dog effectively. Fortunately, there are ways you can help them get these benefits even while managing challenges.
Some of the ways you can help a senior get the benefits of dog ownership include:
-Bring your dog to visit them regularly if they are unable to have one of their own. Bring your pet when you visit your parent, and let them enjoy visiting or playing together.
-Let your parent “try out” owning a dog by having them pet sit for a few days. This will give them the opportunity to evaluate all of the different tasks that go into having a pet, and lets you still be readily available to help if there is a problem.
-Include the pet in your care efforts. If you are able to be with your parent on a daily basis, include caring for their pet together in your care routine. This can mean scheduling time for walks or outdoor play, helping your parent give them food or water, and occasionally making time for a bath for the pet.
-Give your parent reminders if they have difficulty remembering when or how to care for their pet. Set timers for tasks, or leave notes around the house. Consider giving them a call throughout the day as they get used to having their pet to remind them of the care they need.
-Make things easier for them by transferring large quantities of food into smaller containers, or even individual servings, or looking into creating a run or enclosed outdoor area so the dog can run around to get more exercise as needed.
As a family caregiver, you always want what’s best for your senior.
There are many ways you can do this, but one of the most meaningful can be starting elderly care for them. Elderly home care services provider can diversify the care and support your senior receives, stimulating their mind, boosting their mental and emotional health, and encouraging them to live their highest quality of life.
Whether you are able to be with your senior on a daily basis, or even if limitations and distance allow you to be with them occasionally, an elderly care provider can supplement the care you give, and help your parents to make the most of this time in their life. Not only can this help them to live their best lifestyle, but it can also help to reduce your stress and manage your own well-being.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering hiring Caregiver in Northfield, IL, call the caring staff at LifeCare Home Health & In-Home Services. Call (888) 606-4199 LifeCare serves all of the Chicago Metro Area.
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