By James Fleisch, Director of Family Services at Concierge Care Advisors
As we age, we often find ourselves facing new challenges and limitations. A common struggle for seniors is continuing to take care of pets. Our pets are loved just like any other member of the family, but they also require a lot of energy and resources. In this blog post, some of the common challenges of aging while owning a pet will be explored and we will also provide some tips to help seniors continue to care for their pets.
Mobility Issues – Ageing brings with it the possibility we may experience mobility issues that make it difficult to walk or climb stairs, also making it challenging to take our pets for walks or take them to vet appointments.
Financial Constraints – Costs associated with pet ownership include food, vet bills and medications, and can add up quickly. Seniors on a fixed income may struggle to afford these costs.
Health Concerns – Seniors may also struggle with their health, making it more difficult to care for their pets effectively. For example, a senior may have difficulty lifting bags of pet food or may be unable to clean up after their pets, which may contribute to an unhealthy living environment for both the senior and their pet.
Tips for Aging Pet Owners
Consider Adopting an Older Pet – Seniors may find it difficult to care for a younger pet that has more energy and requires more exercise. Older pets may have already had training, and have less energy than younger pets, making them great companions for seniors.
Find Support – There are multiple sources that seniors can reach out to for assistance with pet care such as family, friends, and local organizations. For example, a senior can hire a dog walker to take their pet for walks or ask a family member to pet sit while they are away.
Plan – Seniors should plan for the possibility that they one day may no longer be able to care for their pet. This can mean communicating with a family member or friend who would be able to care for their pet.
Keep Up with Vet Visits – Seniors should make sure their pets get their routine vaccines and attend regular visits to their veterinarian. This can help catch health issues early on and prevent more serious ones in the future.
Make Your Home Safe – Seniors and family members should make sure their home is safe for a pet. This may involve setting up pet gates or securing loose cords that could be unsafe for a pet or become a tripping hazard to the senior.
Consider Pet Insurance – Pet insurance can help pet owners manage the costs associated with pet ownership. There are a variety of plans available on the market that cover everything from standard vet visits to emergency care.
Pet ownership can be rewarding, but it can also be increasingly challenging, especially as we continue to age; however, with planning and support, seniors can continue to enjoy the companionship of their loved animal friends and can provide their pets with the love and care they deserve and require.