It has been scientifically proven that owning a pet is good for one's health, regardless of the age. However, if you have a loved one who is struggling to take care of himself or herself, it is also likely that he or she will struggle to take care of a pet. Because of this, you will need to consider both the type of pet that your loved one owns, whether your loved one should own a pet and whether you can shoulder some of the burden of caring for the pet.
Overcoming The Physical Challenges
Some pets practically take care of themselves. However, there is usually at least one task that is challenging to perform. Seniors may not always have the energy to walk a dog. Even cleaning a litter box can be challenging. However, if you can offer to volunteer to fulfill some of the responsibilities of caring for a pet, it may be easier for your loved one to do so. Also, depending on the size of the pet, it might be a hazard to some seniors.
Overcoming The Mental Challenges
Another challenge is the declining cognitive health that some seniors experience. Many pets have specific requirements that can place the pet in danger if your loved one forgets. For instance, fish usually need a certain percentage of their water to be replaced regularly. Forgetting to do this can cause the fish to pass away. However, the degree to which this can be problematic comes down to whether you are able to visit periodically to make sure that your loved one is remembering to care for his or her pet.
Pet Ownership And Assisted Living
If your loved one will be staying at an assisted living facility, another question is whether the facility is friendly to pet ownership. Some facilities are created with pet ownership in mind and will often have assistants who will help your loved one care for his or her pets.
Caring For The Pet After The Senior Passes Away
A final consideration is whether the pet will outlive your loved one. You will need to consider who will take care of the pet after your loved one has passed away. Your loved one will often be concerned of this and having a place for the pet will help place your loved one at ease. If each of these concerns are taken care of, it may still be a good idea for your loved one to have a pet.