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Why Grandma's Cat Is So Important

Posted by Deb Spinelli on 9/29/2015
The healing power of pets has been well documented in recent years. The bond between humans and animals stretches back for millennia, and it seems we love our pets now more than ever before. Having a companion animal around can help lower blood pressure, relieve depression, and even reduce the risk of heart disease and other stress-related ailments. For some older adults, a companion animal may be the only company they have, as friends and loved ones pass on. Having a pet around in these circumstances can help lessen depression and loneliness.

Of course, not every pet is right for an elderly owner. A rowdy golden retriever puppy, for example, might hinder rather than help an elderly person. For this reason, it is important to make sure that your elderly loved one is matched with the right pet for his or her energy level and physical capabilities. Here are some things to consider when helping your elderly loved one select a suitable pet.

The Right Pet For The Right Person
If your dear elderly aunt has a lifelong fear of dogs, then clearly Fido is not the right match for her. Even elderly dog lovers, however, must take care when selecting a canine companion. A smaller or older dog might be better than a puppy or a giant breed. It is always important to consider activity level and physical ability when selecting a pet for the elderly. And if grandma prefers cats, a low-maintenance breed might be best, and an older cat might be a better bet than a rambunctious kitten.

Are Finances An Issue?
Pets require quality food and routine veterinary care. Is your elderly loved one financially stable and able to afford the expenses that pet ownership entails? If not, a pet may become a financial burden rather than a helpful companion.

Who Will Help Out If Necessary?
Is there a friend, neighbor, or family member who is willing and able to help out with pet care if needed? Who is going to walk the dog when grandma can no longer do so? Who is willing to clean out the cat's litter box if your elderly loved one falls ill? These are important questions to ask when considering a pet for your elderly friend or loved one.

There are numerous benefits to pet ownership for the elderly. If all of the above factors are taken into consideration, there is no reason your elderly loved one should not enjoy the company of a cat, dog, or other pet. And always remember to visit The Medical Maven to stock up on products that might come in handy in a pet-owning household. Isagel Instant Hand Sanitizer will ensure clean, germ-free hands following pet play time, and Sani-Cloth disinfectant wipes are great for cleaning up messes left by dirty paws.

Statement: Having a pet can benefit your elderly loved one in many ways.

Posted in: Elderly Care