Social media has exploded with smiles and shares, when word got around that The Ohio Alleycat shelter was visiting retirement homes with some friendly felines in tow.
Senior cats looking for a ‘furever’ home have been touring with shelter staff, to bring happiness and cuddles to Ohio’s senior citizens, and the delightfully happy pictures have gone viral.
Jordan Umerley, a volunteer for the shelter told website Bored Panda that, “The seniors love telling stories about their past pets, and ask us to take pictures of them with the cats to send to their children and grandchildren.”
At Care Connect, we recognize the positive impact that pets have on health, happiness and comfort, and we are not alone. Australia has the highest rates of pet ownership in the world.
One of the challenges that people face as they age, is leaving their furry friends behind, should they move into a care facility. Many of these facilities don’t allow pets, and this is often a reason why older people don’t adopt shelter animals.
In a ground breaking program right here in Australia, senior members of our community are able to adopt a pet as part of the Seniors for Seniors program, run by Bendigo Animal Welfare and Community Services, Central Victoria’s only no-kill shelter.
This program is different, because it guarantees that the pets will have a home for life, and that their senior adopters will receive support and assistance with having a pet at home. People can be secure in the knowledge that if they are unable to continue to care for their pet, he or she will come back into BAWCS care.
BAWCS says that, “This provides the opportunity for elderly people, some who don’t have any family, to enjoy the companionship and love only an animal can bring to their lives.”
According to the RSPCA, research has shown that owning a pet can have a number of physical and psychological health benefits, such as:
- Increased cardiovascular health (lower blood pressure and lower cholesterol)
- Increased physical activity. Dogs especially help us get out and enjoy the outdoors while getting some regular exercise.
- Fewer visits to the doctor
- Pet owners report less depression and appear to cope with grief, stress and loss better than non-pet owners.
- Pets enhance social connectedness and are great conversation starters
- Pets are also great caregivers. They keep us company when we’re sick or feeling down and they can make us feel safe while we’re home alone.
Care Connect would love to see more programs like Seniors for Seniors, where Australians can experience the love and joy of having an animal companion, as they age, without the stress of worrying over that animal’s future.
Care Connect provides all of our clients with connection to high quality services and genuinely independent advice, and this includes helping people to live happily at home with their pets. If our clients need a pet sitter, or a dog walker, or someone to help with transport to the vet, then we are there to make that happen, and to ensure that they have a long and happy relationship with their beloved pets.
Read more about Seniors for Seniors here: https://www.bawcs.org.au/our-work/