There are so many good reasons to consider pet ownership for an elderly loved one. People living with dementia still have the ability—and need—to give and receive the unconditional love of a furry pet.
If you count by households instead of actual pets, dogs are the most popular pets, according to the American Veterinary Medical Foundation. In 2012, 36.5% of households in the United States owned dogs (30.5% owned cats and only 3.1% owned birds). Yes, pooches remain “man’s best friend” and there is no age limit on enjoying their company.
Before you start worrying about, er, clean up, consider the possible benefits:
Despite the scientific research proving the up side of having a dog as a pet, they’re not for everyone. Some people may be allergic, others may be at risk of falling if the animal gets underfoot, or the cost of food and medical care may be too much. There is still a way to enjoy some of the benefits of dog interaction:
Even those who need care and help with daily activities can be caregivers to a special pet who fills their heart with love.
Even a doctor can miss the signs of dementia in a loved one. Read here to find out some of the early signs that aren't memory loss in someone who is living with the disease.
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Good news: you don't have to do it all as a family caregiver! Lisa Shultz shares her tips on how to do juggle better or simply do less during the holiday season.