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What If Someone with Alzheimer’s Still Has a Pet?

When a person has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, his or her family may very well encourage them to give up that dog because, if they can’t keep track of appointments, can’t even take care of themselves in a safe and healthy manner, how could they possibly be a good owner or caretaker for that animal?

Alzheimer's Care in West Palm Beach FL: Caring for a Pet

Alzheimer’s Care in West Palm Beach FL: Caring for a Pet

Every situation is unique.

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to caring for an individual diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. Generally speaking, though, the memory loss that is commonly associated with this disease, even before somebody is formally diagnosed, will progressively get worse. That means keeping track of appointments, making sure the dog gets fed, making sure that animal goes outside to do its business, getting its vaccines and other shots, and so much more will become more challenging.

Will the senior have somebody to help?

If that elderly person does not have adequate support from family or friends, it’s crucial they consider home care services. A home care aide who is hired through an agency can provide comfort, physical assistance, reminders, and many other supports for those who are dealing with this form of dementia.

Depending on the agency and caregiver, this individual may also be more than willing to help provide support for this animal. This doesn’t mean the caregiver is going to be the de facto and primary caregiver for the animal, but rather offer support and reminders that can be instrumental in keeping the animal safe, healthy, and happy.

It may be necessary to think of other options, too.

The senior may not want to admit this, especially when he or she feels capable of taking care of themselves and this animal during the earlier stages of the disease, but there will likely come a time when keeping that dog becomes a liability rather than an asset. In the meantime, though, it can offer comfort for somebody struggling to cope with this type of diagnosis.

When the time comes to consider removing the animal from the house for safety’s sake, it’s important to do it in a way that is beneficial for the senior and the animal. The Humane Society is a great asset, but if a close family member or friend is willing to take this pet in, that may be a better option because during those lucid moments for the senior, he or she might still have an opportunity to spend a few minutes with their beloved friend.

If you or an aging loved one are considering Alzheimer’s care in West Palm Beach, FL, please call the caring staff at Activa Home Health Care at (561) 819-4112.  Serving Delray Beach, Boca Raton, Boynton Beach, Wellington, Jupiter, West Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale, Lauderhill, Coral Springs, Pompano Beach and surrounding communities.

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Jon Fedele

Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer at Activa Home Health
Jon Fedele is co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Activa Home Health. During the past 15 years he has owned and operated several successful healthcare companies in South Florida.
“I am passionate about our community and the people we serve”, states Mr. Fedele. “We have an obligation to take care of our seniors and allow them the dignity to age safely and independently in their own homes”.

Jon is married and has three children. He enjoys waterskiing and spending time with his family and friends.

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