Senior Man and Dog

Seniors & Their Pets

August 9, 2022
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Seniors & Their Pets

August is National Dog Month, and we sure love our furry friends.

There are many benefits of owning a pet, especially for seniors. Besides the warm loving feelings they give their owners, they can increase opportunities to exercise, get outside, and socialize. We love our pets, that’s why we’re not surprised to find that most households in America have at least one pet, and more than half of older adults aged 50 to 80 have a pet. (University of Michigan’s National Poll on Healthy Aging).  According to the CDC, regular owning and caring for a pet can help to decrease blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and triglyceride levels.  Pets can help manage loneliness and depression by giving us companionship, and unconditional love and affection. 

We have worked with senior living communities that accept pets, and we love it when our clients are able to relocate with their pets. However, there are situations when pet care becomes too much for seniors. While pets can provide companionship and comfort, if you are the caregiver for a loved one with a pet, make sure to check on the pet when you visit. 

Look for the following things: 

  1. Has the pet gained or lost any weight? This can indicate that the pet is not being fed or is potentially overfed. 
  2. Does the pet have access to clean water? 
  3. Does the pet have access to a bathroom? If the pet is a kitty (we love cats too!), check to be sure the litter box is full. 
  4. Is the pet’s fur well kept?
  5. Does the pet seem relaxed or anxious? 

If you notice something is “off” don’t be afraid to ask. You could help your loved one set a schedule to care for the pet, or hire outside help. Pet care is one of the things Sunways are here to help you navigate when it comes to senior care.

It is common to believe that most assisted living communities do not accept pets, but often it is quite the opposite. We work with assisted living communities that welcome furry friends, but have rules and regulations to ensure the safety and health of the other residents and staff.

At Sunways, we are here to think of all the things that are a second thought. During our free discovery call, we will ask about the pets in the family. When moving a loved one to an assisted living facility with a pet, there are many things to consider. We can help navigate the next steps, and help to think of things like what to do if a loved one can no longer take care of a pet, and which assisted living facilities to accept pets. We will also provide information on if an assisted living facility has monthly pet fees, and what types of pets or breeds are excepted.

Check out how Sunways can support your family, including your four-legged family members here.

 

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