Ellen’s best friend in the world has four legs and a tail, and Ellen wouldn’t change a thing. However, when Ellen had a stroke that left her unable to use her right arm, she worried that her beloved dog, MiMi, would have to be rehomed. Ellen wasn’t sure she would be able to do all of the things that MiMi needed from her to stay healthy and happy. Even pouring dog food from the bag into the bowl was nearly impossible for Ellen with the use of only one hand. Her family worried that Ellen would be depressed without MiMi’s companionship and her stroke recovery would suffer.
Because Ellen needed help for other daily activities, her family contacted an agency to hire an elderly care provider to come to Ellen’s home to assist her. They were overjoyed to discover that not only would the elderly care provider help take care of Ellen, they would also help with MiMi.
If your parent has a pet they rely on for friendship, love, and emotional support, growing older doesn’t mean they have to give that up. Elderly care providers can assist with some pet care duties.
Here’s some of what they may be able to do:
Take the Dog Outside: An elderly care provider can let the dog outside or take it out on a leash to do its business. For seniors with balance problems, taking a dog outside can pose a risk of falling if the leash gets tangled or if the ground is uneven.
Clean the Cat Litter: Elderly care providers can scoop or clean the cat litter box to keep fuzzy feline friends happy and the home smelling fresh.
Feed Pets: Seniors with memory loss might forget to feed their pets. An elderly care provider can remind them to feed pets and assist them with the task if needed.
Brushing: Brushing a pet can be soothing for older adults with dementia, but they may not remember how to do the task without some help. An elderly care provider can help them get started with the task or show them how.
Playing with Pets: Pets need playtime to burn off excess energy and remain happy. An elderly care provider can help aging adults to play with toys. If the senior is wheelchair bound, an elderly care provider can bring a ball to toss or a cat toy to dangle.
Your parent shouldn’t have to worry about having to give up a pet due to illness or disability. Knowing that an elderly care provider can help both them and their pets remain safely in their home can ease their fears.