January is the beginning of the New Year. But did you know that cat lovers informally know January as Happy Meow Year? It’s a funny and cute recognition of the furry little purr friends that millions of people have as pets throughout the country, and it’s also a good idea to think about these curious animals when it comes to elderly care.

Did you know that health problems diminish to some extent, and the emotional health improves when an elderly individual has a pet to share their time with? Studies have shown that the simple act of petting an animal can relieve stress and anxiety. Of course, some people are not able to have pets because of allergies and other health conditions, but if your elderly loved one is interested, thanks to the Mew Year, this could be just the right time to think about getting a new furry friend.

What could happen when you introduce a small cat into your elderly loved one’s home? Aside from a little rambunctiousness and a cat getting into every little nook and cranny within the home, the cat will eventually come to recognize your loved one as the person who is there for it, who will care for it, feed it, and give it shelter. When that happens, then the cat will generally begin to come to your loved one, perhaps sit on his or her lap, and purr while being pet.

What that will do for your loved one is provide the important aspect of companionship. Too often it’s easy to discount the value of companionship, especially when it comes in the form of a pet. If you don’t have a cat or dog yourself, it can be difficult to empathize with someone who has a close bond with one.

However, for those who have had a pet in their life, many of them already know the positive and powerful impact that it can have on emotional and even physical wellbeing. If you are planning on hiring elder care providers, or you already have one, you’ll want to discuss the prospect of getting a cat for your loved one first. Also, make sure that your loved one doesn’t have allergies.

Most importantly, make sure you talk about this with your loved one before going out and finding a cat. You want to respect them enough to get their input, and don’t force a pet upon them. It should be an act of love, not one of deception. When it comes to elderly care, a cat can have a powerful and positive impact.

If you or an aging loved one are in need or considering care: Call Activa Home Health today @ 561-359-0824.