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What to Do When Elderly People Can’t Care for Their Pets

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Pets can be a valuable source of companionship for seniors, but a time may come when your loved one is no longer capable of taking care of his or her pet. Mental or physical health conditions may make it difficult to regularly feed, exercise, or clean up after an animal, which could lead to unhealthy situations for both the pet owner and the pet. Here are a few ways to help a senior loved one who can no longer manage the responsibilities of pet ownership.

Take Care of the Animal While Finding a New Home

In some situations, you may be able to help your loved one feed the pet, clean a litter box, or take the animal for a walk while you search for a new owner. However, if you do not have the time for this, you may need to go ahead and remove the animal from your loved one’s home. Find a local kennel or pet boarding service that can keep the pet safe and happy while you try to find a new home for it.

From caring for pets to managing daily activities, seniors may require help with an array of tasks. Not every senior has the same care needs, which means they don’t all need the same home care services. Palm Desert families can rely on Home Care Assistance to provide individualized care plans to meet your elderly loved one’s unique care needs. Our holistic Balanced Care Method was designed to help seniors focus on healthy lifestyle habits such as eating nutritious foods, exercising regularly, and maintaining strong social ties, and our Cognitive Therapeutics Method offers mentally stimulating activities that can stave off cognitive decline and delay the onset of dementia.

See If Friends or Family Can Take Care of the Pet

Most pet owners will be less upset about giving up their beloved animal if they know a trusted friend or family member will be taking care of the pet. Instead of just dropping the pet off at a shelter, take the time to contact friends and family to see if anyone is willing to take care of the animal. Sending the pet to live with family or friends is often the ideal solution for this scenario.

Seniors who need help caring for pets, managing daily activities, and looking after their own health and wellbeing can benefit from professional in-home care. If your senior loved one needs hourly or live-in care, Palm Desert Home Care Assistance can help. Our caregivers can assist with exercise and mobility, prepare nutritious meals, provide timely medication reminders, and help with a wide array of other important daily tasks.

Research Local Rescue Groups and Organizations

If no one in your immediate circle can take the animal, a pet rescue group is often the best option. Look around online or ask other animal lovers about local groups that can take care of the pet and find a new home for it. If all local rescue groups are full, you may need to take the pet to a shelter. Talk to the shelter about their euthanasia policy and see how they screen prospective owners. You may need to travel to find the right organization, but it is important to find a shelter that will reassure your loved one about the pet’s welfare.

Visit the Pet After Rehoming

Whether or not your loved one can see the pet after it is rehomed will depend on individual circumstances. For some seniors, knowing they can regularly see their furry friend even after it has a new family can be quite reassuring. However, for seniors with dementia or other mental issues, repeatedly having to say goodbye to their former pet could be extremely distressing. You must consider your loved one’s needs and the needs of the animal’s new owners when deciding how to manage the situation after the pet leaves.

Although pets can be a great source of companionship, pet ownership isn’t right for every senior. Compassionate caregivers can also help seniors enjoy a higher quality of life. In Palm Desert, CA, home care agencies can be a great boon to seniors. With the help of the caregivers at Home Care Assistance, your aging loved one can lead a happier and healthier life. We offer a revolutionary program called the Balanced Care Method, which encourages seniors to eat nutritious foods, exercise and socialize regularly, and focus on other lifestyle factors that increase life expectancy. To create a customized senior care plan for your aging loved one, call us at (760) 345-0001 today.

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