Does your aging parent have a pet? Since Americans own close to 170 million dogs and cats, chances are pretty good that they do. And if you are in charge of caring for an elderly parent, chances are also pretty good you are helping with the pet as well.
Here are some tips on helping elderly parents care for their pets:
A frail parent caring for an active dog is a disaster waiting to happen. Make arrangements to have a dog walker take your parent’s pooch out a couple of times a day.
Pets make a great contribution to elderly people’s health and well being, and we should return the favor. If your parent is incapable of taking their pet to the vet for regular check-ups, see if there is a home-visit vet in the area or take the pet yourself. It is important to watch for signs of illness or aging in your parent’s pet and take action to keep it healthy
If your parent has a problem remembering to take their medications or even eat regularly, they are probably not taking proper care of their pet so you may need to supervise.
Does your parent have to move to a retirement home? Look for one that takes pets. If there is not one in the area, then at least find one that allows visits and take your parent’s pet often to see them.
And most importantly, if you are not a “pet person” but your parent is, respect that bond and do what you can to allow them to continue to enjoy it. Having a pet around to provide your aging parent with good company and unconditional love is a true gift, and may even relieve you of some of the burden of caring for your elderly parent.
If you’d like to learn more about how we can help you with your long-term care planning, please contact us for your initial consultation at one of our conveniently located offices in Fort Pierce, Stuart, Port St. Lucie, Vero Beach, and Okeechobee.