Helping Your Elderly Parent Keep Their Pet

If you have an aging parent who has been showing signs they are having difficulty doing certain tasks, you may wonder what options they have available in keeping a pet. There are several benefits for elderly people to take care of an animal, from reducing depression to helping with self-esteem. If your parent has been caring for a pet regularly, you may worry about their ability to continue as they get older. Here are some options you have in helping your parent keep their pet as they start having difficulties in caring for it properly.

Make Caring Easier

If your parent is only starting to struggle with mobility or mental clarity issues, the care of their pet may still be feasible on their home by taking some precautionary steps in ensuring the animal cared for properly.

For someone who is having trouble getting around, the pet can be kept on same floor your parent uses most so they are never out of sight. Food and water dishes can be placed on a low shelf or on a raised table instead of the floor so bending down to feed the animal will not be as difficult. If your parent is struggling with memory loss, write out a list including times the pet should be fed or let outside and keep it near a clock in plain view in an area your parent uses frequently.

Enlist Some Home Help

If you are doubtful about the pet being fed regularly or if you feel your parent is having difficulty with some caring tasks, consider having an outsider come in to check that the pet is being cared for properly. A home health care service is a great idea for someone having trouble because of health issues. 

A caregiver will come to the home to check on your parent’s well-being and help with small tasks your parent has trouble doing alone. Having a pet sitter come to the home to give feedings or walks can also be beneficial. Using one of these options will allow your parent to keep the pet as they will have someone else available to assist with caring for it.

Consider Assisted Living

If the pet is being neglected due to your parent’s health issues, moving your parent to an assisted living facility is an option. Federal housing laws require that publicly run assisted living facilities allow pets on the premises. Many privately run facilities will allow pets to live in the apartment with your parent. Regular visits by staff members will ensure the pet and your parent are cared for, eliminating the worry of an injury or poor conditions as a result.