The Best Gift for your Aging Parent

March 17, 2020

You might struggle with the idea of the perfect gift to get your aging parent. Senior citizens can be so frustratingly practical; they don’t want you to spend a lot of money on gifts and gadgets that they see as frivolous or unnecessary. How many times have you given your parent a lovely scarf or book collection only to have them return it and tell you, “I don’t need this; take it back and get your money”? It’s very frustrating, but you have to love their practicality.
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Still, all of our parents deserve the world, and we want to give it to them, no matter how fiercely they protest. Luckily, there’s one gift idea that is guaranteed to charm the senior citizen in your life and provide them with years of joy, fun and priceless memories. 

A dog!

Studies show that having a dog, especially if you are a senior citizen, improves your quality of life in myriad ways. Dogs are known stress relievers, providing hours of fun, engagement, comfort and companionship. For someone who is aged, unable to get out much and may even be in a nursing facility or retirement community, a pet can be a bridge to the outside world, providing them with companionship and engagement that they might not otherwise get. Just the act of caring for an animal and seeing to its basic needs keeps their mind sharper, their social skills turning over, and makes them feel as if they have a purpose. 

Many older people, especially those who are disabled or unable to get around like they used to, fall victim to depression. Things like illness and injury prevent them from enjoying life as they used to. It’s a frustrating situation, and having a dog to alleviate the boredom a bit does wonders for many senior citizens. It is a beautiful bond and a thoughtful, loving gift. 

Studies show that elderly pet owners get more exercise on average than peers without pets, are far less lonely, and in some cases, are even more spry and alert. Having an animal gives you a sense of purpose and keeps you on your toes! If your loved one has a disability or special needs, you might consider applying for a service dog, who is trained to assist them with any medical emergencies. 

If you’re considering purchasing a pet for your aging loved one, please consider adopting from a local shelter or animal rescue group, rather than a breeder. Employees and volunteers at these shelters can assist you in choosing among the best dog breeds for seniors and pair your loved one up with the perfect pooch for them. Whether they would be better suited to a loving, plush lap dog that wants to cuddle all day, or a robust, playful larger breed that keeps them active, your local shelter has the perfect dog for your parent right now. Best of all, adopting from a shelter ensures that the dog will already be spayed or neutered, treated for fleas, and up to date on all current shots. 

Plus, you’ll be saving a life - maybe more than one.

*contributed post*

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