Pets do a lot of good for the people who love them. Furry friends serve as constant companions as well as sources of entertainment and love. However, two of the downsides of pets are the difficulty of moving them with you and the potential for accidents such as tripping. This risk becomes especially dangerous with elderly pet owners. Here is what you need to know about providing care for the elderly in NYC who have pets.
Federal housing laws mandate that publicly run assisted-living centers must permit residents to have pets as long as the residents are capable of caring for the pets and the pets are properly socialized. This should ease some separation worries.
Many private facilities also allow pet ownership. In some cases, staff members may help a resident who is not fully able to care for a pet. In other cases, a facility may have one or two pets for all residents to enjoy, or have regularly scheduled visits from therapy animals.
In the cases of senior citizens living at home in New York City, caregivers and/or family and friends may be needed to help care for a pet. However, it is possible that a pet may eventually need to be surrendered to a no-kill shelter.
General tips for care for the elderly around pets, whether at home or in assisted living
- Place litter boxes or bird cages on a counter where they are at waist height and easier for a senior to maintain.
- Dogs should be walked on a halter-type collar and not a leash collar.
- All supplies and food should be easy to retrieve and not require substantial bending and effort. Purchases should be made in smaller bags/portions.
- Have a veterinarian visit if possible instead of requiring the senior or someone else to take the pet to the vet.