Senior dogs are wonderful pets for elderly adults who live at home and want a companion to cuddle.
Rescuing an older dog from a shelter makes a lot of sense—not only does the dog find a forever home, but the elderly adult gets a pet that is best suited to their abilities and temperament. October is Adopt a Dog Month, where communities emphasize the thousands of dogs that live in the shelters waiting to be adopted. Family caregivers should certainly give some thought as to whether their aging relative might benefit from adopting a dog.
Senior Dogs for Senior Citizens
With age, many elderly adults don’t get around as well as they used to. Disease, illness, injury and age-related conditions tend to limit the amount of socialization they have. Chronic pain and discomfort plus fatigue can also discourage them from being too active. Studies show that seniors who have pets like dogs and cats are more active, report less pain and even live longer. A dog can be a real companion to an elderly person, providing unconditional love and constant entertainment.
Owning a dog is good for an elderly person’s mental health as well. Because many seniors have family caregivers and elderly care providers to take care of them, they often lose their self-esteem and can feel useless, worthless and depressed. Having a dog to nurture and care for gives them a renewed sense of purpose and allows them to focus on someone else’s needs instead of their own. Even petting a dog regularly can reduce stress and anxiety, lower blood pressure and help with occupational therapy exercises. There are few true downsides to seniors adopting an elderly dog.
Adopting a Dog is a Family Affair
Adult shelter dogs may be the perfect match for aging adults but adopting a dog by a senior who cannot live independently means that such action really is something for the whole family to consider. Family caregivers and elderly care providers will have to spend time caring for the dog when the elderly adult cannot. Common responsibilities that can be shared between family caregivers and their aging relatives include grooming, feeding, walking, exercising, vet visits, and cleaning up waste. The benefits of owning a dog often outweigh any downsides, and many family caregivers are fine with taking on a few duties to make their aging loved one happy.
During the month of October and Adopt a Dog Month, it’s easy to change two lives for the better—the elderly dog and the aging adult. With a lifetime of companionship between them and unlimited love and affection, it’s no wonder that so many people are looking to adopt a dog.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering hiring Elderly Care in Haverford, PA, please contact the friendly staff at Suma Home Care. Call today: (484) 206-4544
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