Caring for pets can be overwhelming for some eldery owners. Here's how you can help them with pet care.
Pets have a host of benefits for their elderly owners. It can contribute to a healthier outlook on life, promote a feeling of safety, and improve health, including lowering stress and blood pressure, but caring for one can be overwhelming for some. Below are 10 ways you can help your neighbor or family member with finding and caring for their beloved pets.
1. Buying Supplies
Most seniors are on a fixed income. If you've got some extra cash, how about buying an extra bag of dog food or container of cat litter? Unloading these heavy items into the house is very helpful as well.
2. Household Organization
My cousin noticed that our grandma was having a bit of trouble bending over to scoop dog food out of the bag, so he built her a simple shelf and bought a bin to hold the food. Maybe you could put up a hook for the dog leash or place the litter box on a shelf for easier cleaning.
While pets help encourage us to get more exercise, the dog may need more physical activity than its owner can provide. Taking the dog for a walk or a trip to the dog park helps the dog stay healthy without taxing his senior owner.
Arthritic hands may have a difficult time manipulating a brush, and even small dogs and cats can be incredibly difficult to bathe! You can help by doing some grooming yourself, or by taking the pet to a professional. If possible, you could even foot the bill!
5. Medical Care
Another way my family helped my grandma with her dog was to keep a calendar in the house with all the appropriate medical information such as vet visits or heart worm medication. If grandma forgot or couldn't do something, any one of the grandkids could easily take care of it.
The organization Seniors for Pets helps pay for vet care for seniors who cannot afford it. Covering vet bills is another extremely helpful way to assist seniors with pet care.
Pets can get dirty! Obviously cats need their litter scooped, and someone needs to pick up dog poop from the back yard. A good carpet-cleaning wouldn't hurt once in a while either.
7. Pet-Sitting While in Hospital
The older we get, the most often we may find ourselves in the hospital. A big concern for many seniors is what to do with their furry friends while they're gone. Offering to pet-sit can bring a real peace of mind.
8. Pet-Friendly Senior Housing
It's possible that at some point, your relative or neighbor might not be able to live by themselves anymore. There are communities that allow pets, but they are still not common. You can help by researching and reserving a space so the dog is allowed to stay with her owner.
9. Donate Pet Supplies
Let's say you don't have a senior in your life, but still want to help out. Check if your local area has a Pet Meals on Wheels, or donate pet supplies to senior centers or nursing homes. Most communities have some kind of program for distributing needed pet care products to those who need a little help.
10. Help your Senior Friend Find the Perfect Pet
If an elderly person doesn't have a pet but could benefit from the joy and companionship, they can take advantage of the " Purina Pets for Seniors " program, which covers adoption costs for seniors at over 200 participating shelters. To find out more, check with your local humane shelters or check out this site to find shelters in your areas.