Pets and Companions for Elderly Parents

smiling happy older coupleAccording to a 2005 study conducted by the Department of Neurosciences at the University of Padua, Italy, elderly citizens who were constantly surrounded or visited by a pet animal showed an improvement in their “psychopathological status and perception of quality of life”. In other words, they were happier people. Whether your elderly parent lives at home or in an elderly residence, a pet visit might be a great addition to their daily routine. Not only will they provide companionship for your elderly parent, but serve as a reminder of the joys of life.

There are a few options available to those interested in bringing a pet home for Mom or Dad.

The essential detail to remember is that the pet must be well taken care of. This is one of the first things to consider when choosing a live-in pet.

Second is the kind of pet your parent will enjoy more. Pets for the elderly are only limited by the imagination.  Is Mom or Dad a bird lover? Maybe a canary or a parakeet? Are they relatively young and have always dreamed of a pig?

Dogs are very popular-will someone be there to bath, walk and generally clean up after the dog all the time? Or is an older, semi-independent trained cat better? If physical interaction proves too much for your parents, what about fish? They are relatively low care animals.

Several programs also bring visiting animals to senior homes across the country, in order to provide pet therapy.

http://www.petpartners.org/ : Pet Partners both coordinates volunteers and programs offering visiting animals for seniors. They are a good resource to have if one is interested in starting such a program or finding out if one exists in your neighborhood

http://www.dogplay.com/Activities/Therapy/t_groups.html: Dog Play offers general information on programs that exist across the country. For New York, they list six different programs involved in pet therapy.  Hudson Valley Visiting Pets (http://hudsonvalleyvisitingpets.com/) is a great one to check out for tri-state residents, as is the ASPCA (http://www.aspca.org/nyc/aspca-animal-assisted-therapy-programso) for city residents.

Either of the options listed above are sure to  bring joy to your elderly parent. Check it out today.

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About AlvitaCare

Alvita Care is a fully licensed home healthcare company providing premier in home caregiver services to seniors living in New York City and on Long Island NY. With offices in Midtown Manhattan and Hauppauge NY, Alvita Care was founded in 2008 upon the idea of "Care Without Compromise". Our care-giving services enhance seniors' lives, by improving their well-being, dignity and independence. We have earned The Joint Commissions Gold Seal of Approval and pride ourselves with our proprietary caregiver matching process that carefully matches our experience caregivers to each client based on personality and technical skills needed. Alvita Care can help whether you need assistance for several hours a few times a week or you require live-in or around-the-clock assistance. Our caregivers provide assurance and relief to families by relieving their anxiety, knowing that their loved one is safe, happy and lovingly cared for.