Elder Care and Avoiding Pet Separation

Elder Care and Avoiding Pet Separation

Elder Care and Avoiding Pet Separation

Aging individuals who own pets may reach a point in their life when they are less able to care for them. If you are a family caregiver caring for an aging loved one, then you may be confronted with the question of how you can keep your loved one’s pet in their life. After all, pets can be very important components to an individual’s or family’s everyday life.

Pets often become very close to many family members and can play a big role in relieving stress, providing comfort, and promoting happiness. Therefore, getting rid of a pet may not be the best option since it can cause a lot of distress. Fortunately, there are ways to keep your loved one and their pets together. In this blog, we will talk about how you can help make this possible.

There are three types of strategies to consider depending on your loved one’s personal situation and circumstances[1]:

(1) In-home accommodations:

If your loved one still lives at home but is less physically able to care for their pet, there are some things you can do to make pet ownership easier for them. For example, if your loved one is less able to stand up and bend down or to get up from a squatting position, you can place things like the litter box on a waist-high table. This accommodation can make it easier for your loved one to change the litter box without putting themselves at risk for injury. Another strategy is to ask for in-home help. For example, either you or a dog sitter can help with daily pet tasks so your loved one does not have to. Making in-home accommodations will take some creativity but try to keep your loved one’s safety and convenience in mind when making the necessary arrangements.

(2) Placement with someone else:

In some cases, your loved one may be unable to care for their pet. In this case, you or another family member may have to take on the responsibility of caring for the animal, or your loved one may have to find a shelter where their pet can stay. This move can be a huge relief for your loved one as the responsibility of caring for a pet may have become too burdensome. If this strategy ends up being the route you take, you can help your loved one arrange visitation hours so they are still connected to their pet.

(3) Accommodations in senior housing:

If your loved one has to move to an assisted living facility or into other forms of senior housing but is still able to care for their pet, they may be able to have their pet come with them. In fact, many senior housing establishments and assisted living facilities welcome pets.[2] A long as your loved one is able to care for their pet and if it is well-behaved, an assisted-living facility could allow your loved one to have their pet stay with them. If your loved one is moving to an assisted care facility, make sure you speak with the appropriate resources to see if any restrictions or rules exist for animals and pets.

Keeping your loved one and their pet together can be extremely beneficial for all parties involved. Finding out the appropriate arrangements can be a worthwhile process in the long run. If you have any questions, please call ElderCare at Home at 888-285-0093 or visit our website.

[1] Source: https://www.aplaceformom.com/planning-and-advice/articles/pet-separation

[2] Source: https://www.after55.com/blog/pet-friendly-senior-housing-guide/

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