How to Help Elderly Parents Manage Pets

6:19 pm Estate Planning, Retirement Planning

retired couple with dog e1332449149257 How to Help Elderly Parents Manage PetsPets play an important role in the lives of the elderly, helping to ease loneliness and providing a limitless source of affection.  Here are some tips on helping aging parents care for their pets, while also minimizing their own risks of injury:

1.  Do what you can to keep the pet-parent connection strong, but be sure to pay attention to potential problems, like an active dog your parent can no longer handle on a walk.

2.  If your parent does have a problem walking the dog now, hire a dog walker.  They are plentiful and affordable just about everywhere these days.

3.  Is your parent still capable and willing to take a pet to the vet for regular check-ups?  If not, you should make arrangements to do so.

4.  If your aging parent is forgetting to eat or take medication, chances are that a pet is not getting fed or medicated properly either.  You may need to supervise.

5.  If it’s time to move a parent to a retirement home, make every effort to find one that takes pets.

6.  If a parent has to be moved to assisted living or a nursing home that does not allow pets, then look for one that allows pet visits and take your parent’s pet to visit often.

7.  If your parent is in a facility that does not allow pets – or if your parent has recently lost a pet – see if the facility offers animal visitation programs where pets are brought in regularly to visit residents.

8.  Be on the lookout for signs of aging or illness in your parent’s pet.

9.  When a parent’s pet dies, be respectful of the very real grief they feel.

10.  Have respect for the importance of a pet to your parent, even if you do not feel the same way.

For more information on retirement and long-term care planning, contact our Orange County law firm.

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