Friends come in all shapes and sizes. Pets can provide additional companionship for seniors or individuals with special needs who require home care. Families should always weigh the pros and cons of having a pet but, if they decide that a pet doesn’t create too much of an extra burden, a friendly feline or loyal canine could be the perfect companion for their loved one. Keep reading to learn about some of the benefits that come from pet companionship.
Pets Can Inspire Learning
A new pet may serve as the perfect motivation for an aging senior to start engaging themselves mentally. Having a pet may require additional knowledge and some seniors will want to crack open a book on caring for their pet. Mental stimulation is extremely beneficial for individuals as they continue to age.
Relieving Stress And Lowering Blood Pressure
New pets can be a valuable distraction for seniors. By focusing more attentively on their pet, an elder may not focus on other physical issues. Seniors who are focused on caring for their new furry friend may forget about negative preoccupations such as the fear of loss or aging. Having quiet time with an animal companion is a relaxing, almost meditative activity which will encourage lower blood pressure levels.
Pets are conversation starters and may serve as a catalyst for social interaction. Many experts have stated that having a pet can make it easier for individuals to start up conversations because of the interest that their pet generates. Pet owners may also experience a more friendly atmosphere around others who also enjoy animal companionship. The bond that pet owners share can be effective at eliminating the feeling of isolation to some degree.
Owning a Pet Requires a Routine
Simply put, owning a pet requires a routine. Many seniors or other individuals who require home care have difficulty starting and/or maintaining a regular daily routine. In some cases this may be due to a progressive, dementing illness. Individuals afflicted with dementia/alzheimer’s may require special Alzheimer’s and Dementia care services. However, some seniors may simply resist the idea of a predictable routine due to depression or apathy. Pets may encourage seniors to develop a predictable routine in order to better care for their new pet companion.
Always Weigh Your Options
Deciding to get a pet for a senior or loved one should be discussed thoroughly and thoughtfully before any action is taken. Although there are some significant benefits that accompany pet ownership, it may also create an additional burden that some families cannot reasonably manage. Families can also care for their elderly parents or loved ones more effectively by enlisting assistance from a home care professional. Professional caregivers are trained to assist elders and individuals who have special needs care requirements with the non-medical activities of daily living (ADLs).
Although the role of familial caregivers will most likely require expansion, adult children caregivers can ease the burdens of caring for an aging parent or loved one by allowing a professional to assist with ADLs. While an elder is under the care of a professional caregiver, family members can attend to their own needs, making life more manageable.
The Strains of Being a Caregiver
Currently in the U.S., there are millions of adult children caregivers who are in charge of caring for an elderly parent or loved one. Familial caregivers want to provide their loved one with the best support possible but, many individuals underestimate the physical, mental and emotional burdens that accompany caregiving. As time goes on, caregiving will start to slowly wear down caregivers due to the high level of involvement that is required when providing care. Many individuals enlist the help of professional caregivers for home senior care in order to add a much needed balance to their lives. The level of care/supervision that is required is dictated by the needs of the elderly person. Some individuals may still be high functioning and will only require somewhat minimal assistance with certain tasks that impose physical challenges while others may need 24/7 hands-on personal care.
We Are Ready To Help!
Caring Hands Matter is an established and trusted provider of companionship home care in Northern Virginia as well as the wider D.C./Metro areas. Our services include varying levels of care which can range from more involved, hands-on care to less involved, hands-off care. Our experienced home care professionals can help you determine what level of care makes the most sense for you and your loved one. If you are interested in learning more about the benefits that our home care services offers, call our office directly or contact us online today.