Houston area hospitals, rehabilitation centers, and nursing homes have long known the many health benefits that a loving pet can bring to senior patients and residents.
Research and first-hand accounts support that interacting with a beloved pet has positive health benefits. Some of the physical benefits include lowering blood pressure and cholesterol levels, reducing bone loss, improving circulation, and increasing exercise levels.
The Humane Society if the United States has found that pets can have positive effects on a senior’s emotional health by decreasing their owner’s stress levels and feelings of loneliness. Also, it is believed that a relationship with a compatible pet can increase mental acuity and enhance feelings of well-being and hope.
If you are considering the addition of a pet to your senior’s lifestyle, please take a look the following tips to determine if pet adoption is a good choice for your family.
10 Tips to Review When Helping a Senior Adopt a Pet
1. Don’t surprise a senior with a new pet! The thought of owning a pet may be overwhelming to an older adult; consider your specific situation and the support available.
2. Have a discussion about the pet that would best match the senior’s lifestyle.
3. Identify the time required for pet care and determine if the senior has the ability and economic resources to care for the animal.
4. Seek outside resources. By visiting a local animal shelter, the local experts can discuss the care needs of the pet you are considering. For more information on pet adoption, visit The Humane Society of the United States.
5. If considering a dog or cat, select a more mature animal that is likely to be calmer.
6. Consider the size of the pet. Does your senior’s neighborhood or home have size restrictions?
7. Develop a plan for caring for the pet during travels, illness or other incapacities. A resource for planning includes firstname.lastname@example.org
8. Consult with a local veterinarian about a care plan.
9. Seek help with pet care. Family members and caregiving professionals should be consulted about their desire to work with pets.
10. Spay or neuter your new pet.
For more information, please contact the Humane Society of Harris County.
We hope this was helpful. If you have any questions or if you know of a senior that could benefit from our vast array of home care services in Houston, please call us at 832 379-4700 or email us. We accept most long term care insurance as payment and have a full time staff supervising more than 100 quality-trained home care personnel covering the Houston, Texas area.