One excellent idea to alleviate the loneliness felt by so many elderly people would be to suggest they keep a pet. Pets for the elderly pre-supposes that they’re animal lovers. If they’re not, then this idea goes nowhere, but many of them are. A little trip to the nearest animal shelter for a cat or a dog could well give them a new interest in life.
Personally, I think a cat would be the better choice, since they require a lot less looking after. A kitten would be the best idea of all, since it could be brought up in a place that’ll become familiar to it and provide a great deal of amusement to its owner. fluffy cat T hey’re easily trained to the litter box, so this business of taking them for walks wouldn’t be necessary.
If the person lives in Florida or California, somewhere warm and frost-free, then that’s not so bad, but if they have to dress up like an Eskimo every so often during the day to take the dog out, icy pavements can can be a very real danger.
Then again, it does depend on their preference, whether or not they have pet allergies, how fit they are. All these points must be taken into consideration. Having to take a dog out would provide them with exercise and fresh air, which of course would be very desirable, but it really boils down to personal taste.
The advantages with a cat are many. Easily housebroken, as I’ve mentioned, very good company if you talk to them and don’t simply ignore them, very little mess and virtually no expense except for food and even that’s minimal.
Small expense though it may be, though, there are poor old people, and I use the word ‘poor’ both in the sympathetic and financial sense, who have to choose between buying food or buying medications. Having a pet would be just one more mouth to feed. However, since I’m not Solomon, we have to leave this answer up to the politicians, God help the elderly.
It’s a well known fact, too, that animals. especially dogs, can help a great deal with lifting depression, as we see when people visit hospitals with their pets. Dogs, I think, certainly bring more companionship than a cat, provided the owner’s fit enough for the walking bit.
A big dog, too, should be avoided. Delightful though they are, for a frail old person they could be far too much to handle. Big dogs have a habit of wanting to be lap dogs, and a great furry monster weighing upwards of 90 pounds landing in granny’s lap would keep her pinned in her chair until dog decided to move.
So in the end, it all boils down to personal taste, the health of the person concerned, and really where they live. A flat or apartment would be more suited to a cat, but if they live in a house with a decent back garden, then a dog could easily be let out there.