Is your older adult an animal lover? Caring for an animal can provide them with companionship, stress-relief, and a sense of purpose. Even so, they could reach a point where they are no longer able to look after them. We have listed a few things for you to consider for your loved one before adopting a pet:
- Does the person have the mental capacity to understand the level of commitment that comes with owning a pet?
- Cats and dogs (especially dogs) require daily attention. Are they or someone they interact with daily able to take care of the pet?
- Not all rescue centers or pet shops are willing to sell to people with dementia because they may be unsure if your older adult can properly care for the pet.
- Not everyone likes animals! Consider individual and cultural differences in the acceptance of animals.
- A robotic pet or doll may be a better and less time-consuming alternative if they bring the same calming effects.