Pets are the best! And they make us healthier too.
April 11, 2023
April 11, 2023
Let us know how YOUR pet makes your life better! Nominate your amazing animal companion for our Patriotic Pet of the Month by filling out the form on this page. Each month we’ll feature a new pet – and it could be yours!
Ahhhh, the wonders of pets. The wet, sloppy kisses. The warm snuggles. The melodic, soothing purrs. Pets can certainly make wonderful additions to our lives. They are our best friends. They make great companions. Most are good listeners. For many of us, they are the reason for getting up in the morning.
There are many benefits of owning a pet regardless of your age. In a poll of conducted by AARP of older adults who reported their health as poor or fair, 70% said that their pet helped them cope with physical or emotional symptoms, 46% said they helped take their mind off of their pain, and 78% said their pet kept them physically active. In addition, people owning pets are 36% less likely to feel lonely.
Some people think they’re too old to adopt a new pet. They worry about the burden on their family members if their pet outlives them. They are concerned that they may lack the physical ability to adequately care for a pet. Sometimes cost is also a barrier.
Choosing the right pet
Many of these concerns, however, can be addressed by choosing the right pet that fits your lifestyle, budget, physical abilities and family situation. Start by asking these questions before making a final decision about the type of pet you bring into your home:
- How long will this animal live? Some pets, such as parrots, have exceptionally long life spans. Even a young dog or cat could easily live more than 10 years. It’s important to have a contingency plan to ensure someone you know—family or friend—can care for your pet if you are no longer able to do so.
- How much exercise does the pet need? Dogs obviously need more exercise than cats and need to be taken outside, which could be challenging if you have mobility issues. On the plus side, the health benefits of getting outside and moving around can go a long way in maintaining your health and mental outlook.
- How large will it become? It’s important to consider space restrictions in your home. Larger dogs may also be more difficult to handle and restrain. Puppies and kittens, on the other hand, are more active, require more care and could become tripping hazards if you have mobility issues.
- What type of health risks do they present? Feathers and fur could become a problem if you’re dealing with any type of disease that impairs your breathing. But there are breeds of dogs that are hypoallergenic and tend to shed less. There are also other types of pets that don’t shed at all.
- How much will veterinary care cost? A small puppy can rack up more than $810 in costs for food, medical care, toys and grooming just in its first year. Low-maintenance animals like fish are less expensive, coming in at about $235, according to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
- Do you have enough time (and physical ability) to properly care for the pet? If not, is there a loved one in the home who can help out or can you pay someone?
Home healthcare means you don’t have to give up your best friend
If you’re a nuclear defense worker who qualifies under EEOICPA for a white medical benefits card, you are entitled to free home care and/or home healthcare, depending on your medical needs. Some workers rely on Professional Case Management caregivers for assistance with bathing and dressing to light housekeeping and cooking—services can help keep you independent. Others with more serious health issues benefit from our professional nursing services which include everything from wound care to medication management. All of our services are provided with one goal in mind—to keep you healthy and happy in the home you love surrounded by those you love.
Something that we hear time and time again from the workers we care for is that being able to keep a beloved pet in their lives is a key reason why they want to remain at home. We see firsthand the difference that having their best friend in their lives makes. And we are so pleased to be able to offer the support and services necessary to keep this bond intact.
Show us YOUR pet today by filling out a nomination form here!