In 2010, AARP surveyed more than 3,000 men and women across the U.S. Those who were questioned had to be 45 or older. The questions revolved around socialization and loneliness. Of those people, 35 percent admitted they are lonely. For those aged 70 or older, 1 out of 4 reported being lonely.
Loneliness affects both emotional and physical health. As the elderly deal with vision changes, slowed reaction times, and physical limitations like muscle weakness or neck pain, driving is no longer advised. This heightens feelings of isolation and loneliness.
If your dad is able to provide proper care, a pet is a great companion. Most seniors gravitate to the choice of a cat or a dog.
Here are the pros and cons of each animal...
-Pros and Cons of a Cat
Cats are incredibly intelligent. They also happen to be pretty independent. If your dad has to go away for a day, it's unlikely the cat will care too much. As long as there's access to food, water, and a litter box, a cat is set. This eliminates the need to hire a pet sitter when your dad must overnight somewhere.
Furniture, door frames, and carpeting are all tempting to a cat's need to scratch. It's often easier to train a kitten to not destroy the house. If your dad adopts an adult cat, make sure a cat tree that's sprayed with catnip oil is set up in an easy-to-find location. Near a window is ideal. Cats like to watch birds and bugs fly by.
Care of a cat isn't too intensive. Most cats need nails trimmed, teeth brushed, and the coat brushed to remove loose fur. Giving a cat a bath in the sink or tub isn't something that often needs doing as cats bathe themselves. Your dad does need to clean the litter box regularly, make sure the cat is fed on schedule, and ensure there's fresh water.
-Pros and Cons of a Dog
Dogs are loyal companions. They're always waiting for attention. They need to walk. Your dad benefits, too, because the dog needs to have a person on the other end of the leash. Dogs also love to play, so your dad may find him outside playing fetch each day.
It's important to keep a dog's nails trimmed, teeth brushed, and ears cleaned. Dogs don't need daily baths, but they do need one every now and then to remove dirt and oils. Keeping a dog brushed to remove loose fur is important.
No Pet is a Substitute for Elderly Care Services
Human companionship is good for your dad. Elderly care services guarantee someone checks on him regularly. He can have a caregiver drive him to the store and cook his meals. Call an elderly care agency to learn more.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering hiring elderly care in Los Angeles, CA, please call Mom's Home Care and talk to our friendly, knowledgeable staff.
Our number is 323-244-4789.