Photo: dsearls, Flickr Creative Commons
Sometimes adopting a pet is the best medicine for a senior citizen.
As we age, our lives change in many ways. One aspect that never seems to change is our love of animals. Aging individuals who adopt pets experience a wealth of benefits, including:
- a sense of purpose
- a guard against loneliness
- improved mood, stress levels, and blood pressure
- increased opportunity for exercise
- sharing their life and love with a beloved companion (this is especially important after the loss of a spouse or partner)
Senior humans adopting senior pets even holds more benefits:
- no need for the initial housebreaking or training necessary when adopting kittens and puppies
- providing a much-needed home for the often overlooked “seasoned” pets
- older cats and dogs are often more calm than the younger set and possess a relaxed disposition
Because many senior citizens are on a fixed budget, Pets for the Elderly Foundation is an organization ready to lend a paw. According to their site, the foundation “helps pay the fees to participating animal shelters throughout the United States for senior citizens (age 60 and over) who adopt a companion dog or cat from a participating shelter — including pre-adoption veterinary exams and spay/neuter, if part of the adoption fee.”
Last year, Pets for the Elderly Foundation assisted with 5770 adoptions. There are currently 52 shelters in 29 states that are participating in the program. Please visit their site to learn more about this incredible organization, view the participating shelters, and donate funds to help them continue and expand their work. In addition, you may “like” their Facebook page for current news and inspirational photos and success stories.
Pets share unconditional love, no matter the age or financial circumstances of the individual. We all crave that kind of love to maintain our optimism and feed our joy and purpose each and every day.