Pets can be a wonderful addition to your aging loved one’s home, helping to encourage exercise and social interaction, as well as reducing stress. However, choosing the right pet with your loved one’s needs and health conditions in mind is important, as the wrong pet could become a safety concern.
Dogs or Cats
Dogs and cats are the typical pet choices. While both are wonderful companions and emotional support pets, they may not be the right choice for your loved one. Allergies to cat and dog hair are common, so ensure your loved one isn’t allergic before getting the one. Cats and small dogs can also be tripping hazards, especially for seniors who are mobility-impaired or have never owned an often-underfoot pet before. While large dogs are less likely to cause a trip, their size can cause other issues, such as knocking or pulling over your loved one.
Low-Maintenance Pets for Seniors
If you are searching for low maintenance pets, there are much better selections than dogs and cats. Birds and fish require less daily maintenance than dogs and cats. However, they do both need incremental maintenance, like cleaning the cage and aquarium, respectively.
Fish are one of the best low-maintenance pets for aging adults. They offer therapeutic companionship through caring for them and watching them swim, which may reduce blood pressure and stress. Depending on how big of a commitment they want to make, fish tanks can be small and simple or large, with multiple fish living inside. If you opt for a larger aquarium, your or your loved one will need to be able to check the chemical levels and maintain the filter.
Wondering which pet is right for your aging loved one? Visit the Good Shepherd blog for more ideas, or reach out to the Good Shepherd team, and we’d be happy to answer any questions.