Being a pet owner is beneficial as you age

Many of us are enjoying ‘fun in the sun’ activities this summer and love to include our pets. Pets provide affection and companionship to people of all ages but caring for a furry friend is especially beneficial for older adults. There are many ways you can plan to age while being a loving pet owner.

Pets Improve Your Health

According to Psychology Today, these benefits include higher levels of physical activity which may lead to better health. Because pets need a routine such as feeding and walking; this gives older adults a daily routine as well. Pets can give people something to talk about – maybe a way to make friends or a topic to chat about with caregivers. Perhaps most important, they can protect against feelings of loneliness and provide emotional support.

Finding Help and Support for Your Pet

Pets can provide many benefits, but let’s face it, they can be a lot of work! Much can be done to make life easier for seniors and their pets. There are online platforms that help with dog walking, pet health, training, tracking and more. Several other services, such as mobile groomers and dog waste scoopers, can be found with a simple google search. Online delivery is a convenient option for dog/cat food or litter, some of which require heavy lifting.

For some senior citizens in Atlanta, the only meal they eat each day is delivered by Meals on Wheels. The nonprofit found some of its clients were giving those meals to their pets because they couldn’t afford to feed them. They wanted to help. The organization started a pet pantry to help make sure the animals and their senior “parents” are fed. Meals on Wheels accepts donations for pet food as well as toys and beds for animals. Other county senior services also provide pet pantry programs such as N. Fulton.

Service Dogs for Seniors

For other seniors, Service Dogs provide much-needed assistance. Service dogs are trained to perform specific tasks for the benefit of individuals with different types of disabilities, including balance disorders, wheelchair/mobility assistance, seizure response, or diabetic alert. These dogs perform a variety of helpful tasks such as opening doors, activating adaptive switches, aiding in dressing, carrying items, picking up dropped items, or pulling a wheelchair.

Whether a mixed breed or purebred, faithful companion or service animal, having a pet involves making a promise to continue being involved in another life. This commitment is often one of the most positive decisions a senior can make as they grow older.

Hurley Elder Care Law includes caring for pets in our estate planning process. We recognize the importance of pets in many of our clients’ lives. We can create a Pet Trust as well as suggest resources to help owners age with their beloved pets. Call us today at 404-843-0121 to learn more.

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