How Seniors Can Get Help To Take Care Of A New Pet

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Pet ownership may benefit the elderly by providing companionship, reducing loneliness, increasing socialization, and giving a sense of purpose and meaning, according to a recent study on seniors' mental health. Considering that over 40 percent of older adults struggle with loneliness, getting a pet for them can drastically improve their emotional well-being. On top of the emotional and mental health benefits, pet ownership has various physical health benefits, such as helping seniors get regular aerobic exercise and easing pain for those facing chronic illnesses. However, pets have their needs, and it can be hard for some seniors to take care of their pets properly, especially if they live alone or are experiencing some health difficulties. However, there are ways they can get help to look after a new pet. 

How Seniors Can Get Help To Take Care Of A New Pet

Pet ownership may benefit the elderly by providing companionship, reducing loneliness, increasing socialization, and giving a sense of purpose and meaning, according to a recent study on seniors' mental health. Considering that over 40 percent of older adults struggle with loneliness, getting a pet for them can drastically improve their emotional well-being. On top of the emotional and mental health benefits, pet ownership has various physical health benefits, such as helping seniors get regular aerobic exercise and easing pain for those facing chronic illnesses. However, pets have their needs, and it can be hard for some seniors to take care of their pets properly, especially if they live alone or are experiencing some health difficulties. However, there are ways they can get help to look after a new pet. 

It starts with choosing the right pet 

Every animal has unique needs. Before choosing a pet, seniors need to carefully evaluate their ability to take care of all it's needs. The first thing to decide is which type of animal to get. Different animals require different levels of care. For instance, dogs will need food, exercise, training and grooming, and owners will need to clean up after them. Some seniors may not be able to handle all these tasks on their own. Cats, on the other hand, can generally take care of themselves as long as you feed them. Another important thing to consider is the size of the pet. Big size dogs such as Great Danes or German Shepherds may not be ideal for some seniors who are not strong enough to walk them or play with them. 

Covering the cost of pet ownership 

Owning a pet can be expensive, depending on the type of pet you have. There are the one-time costs, such as the cost of getting a pet, the initial medical exam, spaying or neutering and training. Then there are the recurring costs, such as food, annual medical exams, license, pet insurance, toys and treats. You also have to hope that the pet stays healthy, or else you might be forced to pay hundreds of dollars for a medical procedure. These expenses can be overwhelming for seniors, especially if they have no source of income. Seniors who are unable to cover the costs of pet ownership can seek help from their friends, family and neighbors. They can also seek help on crowdfunding platforms such as Waggle, or veterinary care assistance programs such as LabMed. Seniors living in assisted living facilities that accept Medicaid can enroll in a Medicaid program that helps with their daily costs like transportation and shopping, leaving them with more money to cover their pet's needs. 

Hiring pet care services

If a senior is unable to handle all the responsibilities of owning a pet, they can hire someone to help them out. A dog daycare service, for example, is a great place for seniors to take their dogs during the days they are unable to take care of them. Seniors can also hire dog walking services to ensure that their furry friends get the exercise they need. 

There are many physical, emotional and mental health benefits that seniors who decide to get new pets can enjoy, but animals require a lot of time and energy that many of them may not have. The key lies in finding the perfect pet, and knowing where to get help when you need it. 


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