Puppers. Kitty. Floof. Doge. We have so many pet names for pets these days. You can’t go onto your favorite social media site without someone posting a meme, video, or picture about pets – theirs, others, or just pets in general. Pets are more than just an obsession. They are also good for our well-being. This is especially so for seniors. At Angels on Call, we know that pets are our partner angels. Let’s look at what home care agencies in Philadelphia should know about the healing power of pets for seniors.
Pets Help Your Loved One’s Health and Wellbeing
Research has shown that a companion pet can have a huge benefit on our overall health. Some of the benefits we’ve seen in our senior clients include,
- Relief from depression and loneliness
- Help to cope with pain and chronic illness
- Reduced stress and blood pressure
- Encouraging motions, leading to better mobility and cardiovascular health
Choosing a Pet
If your loved one doesn’t have a pet, consider discussing the prospect with them. If your senior is ambivalent about the idea of a pet, don’t push it. Pets need love as much as our loved ones and patients do. However, if they are open to the idea, discuss what kind of pet they would like. Some things to consider when purchasing or adopting a pet include,
- Do they have experience caring for an animal like the one they want?
- If not, do you have resources for them to learn to care for the pet?
- Do they have disabilities or limited function?
- Would a therapeutic or emotional support animal be beneficial for them?
- What age pet would be best for them?
- Does the pet pose any health risks to your senior?
- Can they afford the upkeep of the pet, including vet visits?
- Do you have a backup plan in place for caring for the pet if your loved one is ill or in the hospital?
Consider each of these questions carefully. If your loved one would benefit from a support animal, their doctor can help them match with an animal to meet their needs. Otherwise, you want to ensure that your senior can care for the animal and that any limited mobility will not inhibit their or their pet’s happiness and well-being.
Be careful of exotic pets, as these often need special care in the form of special housing and higher vet costs. Some animals can also present additional health concerns as they may carry diseases that can be harmful to your senior.
Where to Find a Pet
You have several options for finding a pet. Reputable pet stores and breeders can be good choices for some types of pets. If your loved one would like a cat or dog, consider adoption from your local shelter. These pets need homes and your loved one would be doing something good for another being (which is another boost to their well-being).
Are You Looking for Home Care in Philadelphia?
Angels on Call is here for your family. Contact us to talk about your loved one’s needs and set up a free in-home consultation. We are your go-to home care agency in Philadelphia!