Posted on Mar 19, 2020 in Senior Tips
Adopting a pet can bring about many benefits as you enter your golden years.
Studies have shown that as little as 15 minutes of interaction with an animal can trigger a range of positive hormonal changes in your brain. As your brain produces serotonin, oxytocin, and prolactin, stress levels drop.
Bonding with pets has also been shown to help combat depression in seniors and to provide further health benefits from a reduced incidence of stroke to lowered cholesterol levels and improved overall mobility and health.
Despite all these potential advantages, adopting a pet is not something you should undertake lightly. To help you firm up what you should consider before bringing a furball home, we’ll give you a few pointers right now.
Before anything else at all, you need to decide which kind of pet would best fit with your lifestyle.
If you skip this stage and choose a pet based purely on how cute it looks, you could end up making a rash mistake.
Think closely about how active you are. Can you walk independently and confidently? If not, a dog probably isn’t the smartest choice.
Have you given due consideration to the hair and dander animals kick up? If so, do you have a vacuum cleaner with HEPA-filtration and the ability to trap these pathogens? Whether you adopt a cat or a dog, extra mess is a reality. Are you prepared for that?
If you’re looking at cats, do you want a breed that calls for constant pampering and interaction or would you prefer a more independent feline? Do your research and choose accordingly.
This is the point at which you should abort your quest unless you feel comfortable with the level of upkeep that will be required.
Whether you decide to adopt a cat or dog, you’ll need to forge a relationship with a nearby vet to help you along your new journey.
Start by asking friends and family for recommendations. Check online where you can find plenty of testimonials, reviews, and feedback.
We would suggest you refrain from judging a vet solely on the way they interact with you. Often, great vets are able to deal much more confidently with animals than humans. All that counts here is the level of care that will be provided. Get this right.
Do you reside in an assisted living community? If so, make certain the rules allow you to accommodate the pet of your choosing.
The majority of senior communities are pet-friendly but there will be restrictions in place so don’t push forward with adoption until you’re sure it’s acceptable.
Also, make sure your pet is home-friendly wherever you live. Learn about plants poisonous to dogs and cats. Make sure you don’t have any ibuprofen or sugar-free gum lying around, toxic to cats and dogs respectively. Think about cords and pet-height cabinets along with any other potential hazards.
While you might naturally be excited at the thought of some fresh company at home, think further down the line…
Depending on what stage of retirement you’re at, you should ponder what will happen if you’re no longer able to look after your pet properly.
Any pet immediately becomes a member of the family so don’t forego the pet estate planning and you can push ahead with a clear conscience.
To end on a practical note, have you analyzed how much owning a pet will cost you?
From the initial cost through to vaccinations, food, and general upkeep, are you prepared to take on this extra expense and can you afford it?
Adopting a pet in your senior years should bring about a shower of benefits but don’t proceed if you’ll be overextending yourself financially.
Adopting a pet can bring wonderful joy into your life. It is also an added bonus that they can reduce stress. If you are trying to lessen stress in your life, moving into a Landmark assisted living facility could also be a great option for you. With daily activities, 3 chef prepared meals and caretakers on staff, your stress will be gone. To learn more about our five senior living communities, contact us today.