Pets often play an important role in all of our lives and the bond between a pet and an elder adult can be especially strong. Pets provide a source of love and connection for many elders who find themselves isolated. Pets also serve the role of giving people a sense of purpose and responsibility.
Even though we, as loved ones, might not share our elders same love and concern for their pet, its important to recognize their attachment to the animal and the benefit that it provides them. Oftentimes in discussions of moving to a new home, whether to a family’s home or a care facility, the pet plays a significant role in the elder’s decision to move, but only a minor one for the family that see their move as absolutely necessary. Understanding and recognizing the importance of a pet to your loved one, can help avoid hard feelings and problems.
If in-home caregivers are working with a client with pets, they also need to treat the pets with respect and as a member of the family. Often, when caregivers are able to successfully connect with the pet, it can help win over the skeptical elder.
If you or your family are having difficulty navigating the murky waters of eldercare, we at HopeBridge would love to help.