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Pets and the Elderly – A Healthy Combination

Elderly Care in Homewood AL

It’s no secret that pets bring healing powers to people – keeping them healthier and allowing them to heal faster following an illness or surgery. They’re also great for staving off depression andElderly-Care-in-Homewood-AL reduce that feeling of loneliness, not to mention improving the mood of patients with Alzheimer’s or other dementias.  Owning a pet can also help people reduce their stress, lower their blood pressure, and increase social interaction.

Researchers have found that seniors who own pets have less doctor visits than those who don’t. They also seem to be more independent and are able to handle stress and challenging situations better than those without pets. It’s believed that pets don’t really have a sense of time, so they don’t think about tomorrow, next week, or beyond. They worry only about the present, which is the real benefit for the elderly.

While a dog or cat can be the most obvious choice, a pet can also be a bird, fish, rabbit, gerbil, lizard, etc. It doesn’t matter what the pet is as long as it is a good fit for your elderly parent.

Here are some things to think about if considering a pet for your elderly parent:

  • Has the person had a pet before and do she have a preference in the type of pet, the age, and size? Puppies and kittens may not be advisable for someone elderly because of the extraordinary care and training they need.
  • People age differently, and so do animals. While a dog or cat may live as long as 15 years old, some birds can live 75 years or longer.
  • Finances should be considered. A dog or cat could cost $500 or more a year, whereas a fish or gerbil wouldn’t be as expensive.
  • Is your aging parent able to get around and get things for him or herself; or might a service dog be a better addition to your parent’s home? Either way, a dog could encourage an elderly person to be more mobile, provided they’re able.
  • Cats are more independent than dogs, so they don’t need to be walked or taken outside.
  • Make sure the pet is healthy. Take any pet you get to a vet for a thorough examination.

If you or an aging loved one are considering hiring professional elderly care in Homewood, AL, call and talk to the staff at Lipford Home Care (205) 623-5700.



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