Pets can help people with dementia, as they can relieve anxiety and stress. We all know that pets can provide you with unconditional love and they could be considered a wonderful purchase for someone with dementia but it can also become difficult as the journey progresses.
A person living with dementia could benefit from the companionship as well as the friendship that comes with keeping a pet. It can also provide the person with a sense of purpose, which is essential for improving the wellbeing of someone living with dementia.
However, there are important factors to consider before purchasing a pet for yourself or a loved one:
Pets are a commitment and require daily care, it is important to review whether this work with ongoing life and with the challenges that dementia can bring?
Most animals need exercise, especially dogs. It is important to make sure that the welfare of the animal is also looked after. This is also a huge benefit to having an animal as it forces you to go outside and take daily exercise which can be very important for people living with dementia.
If you are confident that you can look after the welfare of the animal and it would be beneficial for the person living with dementia, it can be a wonderful addition to a home and can significantly improve the wellbeing of the person living with dementia.
If a loved one is moving into care, it is important to speak to your local animal welfare to ask for their advice and help. There might be a family member or friend that might be interested in looking after the pet and could be a nice way for the person going into care, to keep in touch with the animal.