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Lady with one of her beloved pets

Lady with one of her beloved pets

The Elderly and their beloved pets

Many experts agree that the elderly benefit greatly from the company of pets. In fact, there is much documentation from organisations promoting this partnership. Some programs aim at helping people to keep their pets when they go into care or become less able to look after them.  Others attend to the promotion of the benefits of pets for elderly or disabled people.

Are you caring for an elderly loved one? Perhaps they already have one or two pets. Or maybe they would like a pet companion but not sure which one to get. We would like to offer you some information on the subject that might be helpful.

Here at Gold Age Australia, we know the benefits a pet can bring to an elderly person. For instance, the love of an animal is so unconditional it can relieve stress. It is a two-way relationship where both parties get fulfilment.

The benefits of owning a pet

There are some very interesting statistics about pet ownership for the elderly. For instance it has been noted that having a pet can stimulate the memory. In fact, instead of falling into a dream state the elderly person has to live in the here and now. That is because that’s how animals live. After all, animals don’t worry about tomorrow. All they want is food, love and attention right now.

Animals have been known to assist their masters overcome illness. By forcing them to remain active for instance, this benefits their physical health. Furthermore, having a pet to look after provides an incentive to get up in the morning. Additionally, not wanting their animal to be left alone can encourage them in the will to live. Also, the love and affection of their pet can eliminate feelings of depression by combating loneliness.

Matching the owner with the pet

If your elderly loved one would like a pet, matching the owner with the pet is important. So, asking the right questions will produce the right results. Begin by asking them which type of pet they would like. Some people like dogs, some people are cat lovers. Furthermore, some people like neither but they love birds.

After this basic premise has been established, the age and condition of your elderly loved one needs to be taken into consideration. Do they have a disability? Would they be able to walk a dog or would you have to do that for them? Next, talk about the financial responsibilities involved. Obviously, the main ones being food, vet bills, perhaps insurance and maybe grooming.

After that preliminary discussion, consider the age of the proposed pet. Puppies and kittens require a lot of care. A more mature animal rescued from a shelter might be a better fit. Also consider the breed that would best suit your elderly loved one. Some dogs are very energetic and may not suit an older person. Long-haired dogs require a lot of grooming. This can represent quite an expense. It is also important to check the health of the animal so as not to compromise the person’s immune system.

Last but not least, watch for the chemistry between them at the first meeting. Animals have personalities the same way humans do. Just because they do not have the gift of speech does not mean that they don’t communicate. If they are right for each other they will both know it and you should be able to see it.

In conclusion

We hope you have found the above helpful and informative. Please see the recommended reading links below. These companies are all in Victoria. Although we cannot endorse a particular organisation, we provide them to you for solely informative purposes.

So, until our next blog, dear readers, it remains for us here at Gold Age Australia to wish you and your family health and happiness. We hope your elderly loved one will enjoy many years of companionship with their beloved pets. Cheerio until the next time.

Recommended Reading

This blog is intended to provide helpful advice. Please speak with your family GP for personalised information or, for specialist advice & support in Melbourne Australia, contact GOLD AGE AUSTRALIA on enquiriesdeloraine@goldage.com.au / 1800 GOLDAGE (1800 465 324) / Overseas Callers call +61 (03) 9836 9507

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