Living With a Senior Pet

Living With a Senior Pet

During the coronavirus crisis, Senior Living Consultants is open and the
staff remains available to help you or a loved one find Independent,
Assisted Living, Board and Care, and Memory/Dementia Care Communities at NO COST to our clients. We are the local experts in locating the best senior living options and we are still here to help families–even during this uncertain time. Please don’t hesitate to call.

Sincerely,

Charmaine and the staff at Senior Living Consultants

 

 

 

 

Benefits of Having a Pet

Since the Covid-19 pandemic began, pet adoptions have soared. In fact, many animal shelters report their centers are empty for the first time ever. Since many people are now working remotely and not spending money on travel and dining out, they have more time and money to care for a pet. And the physical and psychological benefits of living with a furry friend can help ease the emotional stress and strain of daily life–especially in these times. Studies have shown the health benefits of pet ownership include:

  • Decreased blood pressure
  • Lower cholesterol levels
  • Decreased triglyceride levels
  • Feeling less lonely
  • Increased opportunities for exercise and outdoor activities
  • Greater opportunity to socialize

 

An Aging Pet

As pets age they can bring unique and challenging situations on a daily basis. These issues can be especially frustrating and difficult to manage for older adults. For instance, our staff member, Kim, adopted her dog, Gina, when the little Chihuahua mix was around 3 years old. That was 14 years ago making Gina approximately 17 today. In reality, Gina’s veterinarian said this is like living with a 100-year old woman. “This certainly helps put into perspective what Gina is experiencing. It also helps me better understand some of her unusual and frustrating behaviors,” Kim says.

In the past few years Kim reports her dog has shown many signs of aging. “Gina has lost her sight and hearing. She also has arthritis in her back legs making it difficult for to walk. In addition, she shows signs of dementia including more accidents in our home, pacing back and forth at night, and waking up in the middle of the night.”

Tips to Help

  • Seek out new joy for your animal. As they grow older our pets may no longer enjoy their usual activities like long walks or playing with toys. Instead help them find some new pleasures such as a car ride, or allowing them to take their time smelling everything in the yard or park.
  • Make a chart. Gina’s vet suggested Kim chart everyday on a calendar if her dog had a good day or bad day. Kim marks a smile or frown for different aspects of Gina’s life such as eating, if she has had any accidents in the house, or signs of dementia. The chart will then give everyone an indication if Gina is experiencing more good days than bad.
  • Schedule a quality-of-life visit. As our beloved animals age, pet parents will need to face some difficult end-of-life decisions for them. A quality-of-life appointment with your veterinarian can help you determine what is best for your pet. No final decisions need to be made during this visit. Rather,  you will receive expert guidance and support to help you navigate your pet’s final days, months, or years. Your veterinarian will consider many factors including your pet’s quality-of-life; is the pet in chronic pain; will current medications help the pet’s condition or disease; and your ability to continue managing the demands of care.

 

https://www.npr.org/2010/11/23/131516152/helping-your-good-old-dog-navigate-aging

 

Disclaimer

All content provided on this blog is for informational purposes only about senior living topics. The information provided is accurate and true to the best of our knowledge but there may be errors, omissions, or mistakes. Senior Living Consultants makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this site or information found by following any link on this site. Senior Living Consultants will not be liable for any errors or omissions in this information nor for the availability of this information. The staff at Senior Living Consultants are not medical, psychological, legal, or tax professionals. Seek advice from a professional regarding a specific situation. Senior Living Consultants will not be liable for any losses, injuries, or damages from the display or use of this information. Senior Living Consultants reserves the right to change the focus or content of this blog at any time.