April 6 2018
Pets have a wonderful way of reaching people who are otherwise hard to reach. Unlike people, dogs and cats have few expectations in a relationship and you don’t have to try hard to please them: feed them on time, pet them, scratch their neck, and play with them when they feel energetic and any dog or cat will love you.
Owning a pet has a few advantages for seniors. For one thing the companionship is nice, and interacting with a pet has a clinically proven effect on stress and anxiety. Caring for a pet can also be an excuse to stay active, and taking a dog to a dog park is a good opportunity to socialize with other dog owners. The fact that you need to care for a pet can also be a reason for seniors tokeep going from day to day.
However, things can get complicated when the pet owner is a senior with limited mobility. A bad back makes grabbing pet food and emptying water dishes painful, and if they need to rush to a vet then they won’t want to wait for their owner to slowly get to the car and slowly climb in. Apet could also be too active for its owner and be restless if they don’t get to run around as much as they like. It’s because of issues like these that many seniors who could benefit from pet companionship hesitate to actually get one.
Fortunately, this is one way assisted living centers can help. The center’s employees can handle the physically demanding aspects of pet ownership and be on call for any emergency, whether it’s based around a pet or a person. A pet that’s too active can still be a problem, but the solutionfor that is to simply find an older dog or cat who’s slowing down themselves or to choose a breed that prefers to lie around. Choosing the right animal companion is a good lesson to learn ifyou’re considering being a professional caregiver or advancing a property management career with a focus on insisted living.
Because of this, assisted living properties should seriously consider allowing pets if they don’t already, and if you’re looking at a property management career you should look into how to prepare a property for pets and what to expect from them. Caring for pets and caring for seniors are two very different things, but understanding how to do the first is a good initial step towards an assisted living property management career.