Your elderly parent’s dog is a constant source of comfort and companionship. But, did you know that dogs can also help seniors to improve their health? Research has shown that pets help reduce blood pressure levels, stay more physically active, and reduce stress. They can even help people with Alzheimer’s experience fewer episodes of anxiousness and people with heart disease improve triglyceride and cholesterol levels.
It’s no wonder dogs have a whole week set aside just for them – they’re certainly worth celebrating! If your parent has a four-legged canine pal, it’s time to show them some appreciation. Here are five ways you can help your elderly parent to celebrate National Dog Week with their furry friend.
#1 Go for Extra Walks
There’s almost nothing a dog loves more than going for a walk. So many things to smell! New people to meet! If your parent’s dog enjoys a good walk, add a few extra walks in this week. Not only will the dog love the time spent with your parent and their family caregivers, your parent will also reap the healthy benefits of walking more. Walking can help your parent to maintain a healthy weight, improve their mood, and helps keep bones and muscles strong.
#2 Take the Dog Shopping
Okay, no, you can’t take your parent’s dog to the grocery store, but you can take them to a local pet supply store! Family caregivers can help seniors to load the dog into the car and drive them to a pet supply store where Fido can pick out a new toy or some yummy treats. The great thing about this activity is that your parent is also likely to have the chance to talk to new people. Dogs attract attention and make great conversation starters. Research shows that seniors who engage in regular social interaction are healthier than those who don’t.
#3 Make New Toys
If your parent enjoys crafts, family caregivers can help them to make toys for the dog. Braid strips of fleece to make new tug toys or sew scraps of fabric together and stuff them with a squeaker and some cotton batting. This is a great activity for the elderly to do with younger family members and provides an opportunity of them to bond and form new memories.
#4 Make Homemade Dog Cookies
Caregivers can help seniors to make homemade dog cookies. There are many recipes for healthy dog treats online. You can even buy a bone shaped cookie cutter to cut them out! Not only will the dog love the treats, but seniors who like to cook will have fun making them.
#5 Play Fetch
Your elderly parent doesn’t have to be able to throw a ball a long distance for the dog to enjoy the game. Dogs are happy just to run a few feet and bring the ball back over and over. But, if your parent would like to throw the ball further, there are ball throwing toys that make it easier to throw the ball and even some that are automated.
If you or an aging loved one are considering Elderly Care Services in Shoreline WA, contact the caring staff at Hospitality Home Care today. Call us at (206) 966-6552.