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Why Should Your Parent’s Aging at Home Plans Include Their Pets?

When a parent needs help remaining at home, thoughts turn to the care they need. Don’t forget to include your mom or dad’s pets in this plan. If you don’t, you could find yourself rushing to make arrangements if something happens. Having to make rushed plans when you’re already sad or stressed is difficult.

Why Include the Pets?

Home Care in Chevy Chase, MD: Aging in Place with Pets
Home Care in Chevy Chase, MD: Aging in Place with Pets

Here are a couple of examples of why you need to include the pets in care plans. One family’s dad had a cat that he’d taken in when it was just weeks old. That kitten was now 12 years old and suffered from asthma. When he had a stroke, he was unable to care for the cat. No one wanted a cat with asthma either. The family didn’t know what to do and was struggling with arranging post-stroke care and care for the cat.

A woman owned two dogs and was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. She began a fast decline and forgot to feed the dogs. She’d let them out and go to bed forgetting they were outside. Neighbors called the animal control officer. The family faced a fine and were told to either hire care for the dog or find it a new home.

If something happens, your mom or dad’s pets could be harmed or neglected. Your parent may forget to change the water or provide food. It’s not fair to the pet. It’s also likely to stress your parent out if it becomes apparent that the pet’s care is slipping. No one likes to realize their abilities are harming those closest to them.

What Arrangements Do You Need to Consider?

Caregivers may be able to help with pet care. Not every home care agency offers it, but it’s worth asking. If not, caregivers can help your parents make arrangements for dog walkers and people who can come each day to feed, water, and play with your pet.

If there’s a medical issue and your mom or dad is no longer able to care for the pet, what happens then? Will the home care agency you’re looking at be willing to work with your parents on pet care? Would you take them in? Do you have a friend or family member who would take them in? Would you have to rehome the pets?

If rehoming is the only option, it’s important to realize it isn’t always a quick process. Depending on your area, shelters and rescues are often limited to how many animals they will take in to rehome. You may be waiting for months. It’s best to make plans far in advance and know exactly what will happen.

 

If you or an aging loved-one is considering Home Care in Chevy Chase, MD please contact the caring staff at Nest & Care today at (240) 243-9790. 

Latest posts by Katharina Villanueva, RN, BSN, CCRN-K, SCRN, CNRN, DN, CDP (see all)
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