Having elderly relatives is not always easy since they need attention. The people who took care of you only a couple of years ago now ask the same from you. That may include a lot of problems. You must keep track of their financial and mental state, be aware of their safety, and most importantly, don’t leave them alone for too long.

Your loved ones will probably reject your offer to chill with peers, play chess, and read newspapers in nursing homes. According to the National Library of Medicine, only 4.5 percent of older adults live in nursing homes. At the same time, most seniors need company. Without communication, they may start feeling lonely, and their health will deteriorate.

That’s why today, we will discuss how to fight the loneliness of your senior loved ones and how pet adoption for seniors can help.

Why is Socialization Critical for the Elderly

Loneliness is a significant health concern. It doesn’t have any age preferences since we all may feel lonely at some point in our lives. According to Harvard’s research, 36% of Americans feel serious loneliness frequently or almost all the time. Stonegate, in its turn, states that more than 40% of people aged 65+ suffer from loneliness. We don’t have to remind you how disturbing and devastating loneliness may be, both mentally and physically.

From a medical point of view, loneliness is also a serious concern. Doctors consider it as dangerous as bad habits like cigarette smoking or alcohol consumption. Social isolation raises the risk of dementia and increases the likelihood of mortality by 26%. Sounds terrifying, right? As sad as it is, humans are social creatures, and once we lose all social interactions, our health also suffers.  

At first glance, there isn’t much you can do. Being with your parents 24/7 is impossible. The speed of modern life is too high, and even if you persuade your older relatives to move to a nursing home, you will still need to visit them regularly. Fortunately, the option of free pet adoption for seniors is becoming increasingly popular, which can dramatically improve the situation.

When seniors have someone to care about, they are less likely to feel lonely to get other benefits detailed in the next section.

The Healing Power of Pets for Seniors

According to neuroscientists in Minneapolis, having a pet brings health benefits like decreasing blood pressure and stress. The results also state that adopters aged 60+ have a much lower risk of cognitive decline.  

What does that mean for you? Free pet adoption for seniors will probably make the life of your parents much better as well as decrease the risks of loneliness. A furry friend means additional responsibility that triggers dopamine receptors and makes the brain work faster and better. Taking care of a pet means your senior loved ones must wash it, walk several times daily, and regularly cook food.

Companion pets for seniors are a stress-free social interaction and friend. Your seniors receive love and companionship that positively impacts physical and cognitive activity. At the same time, you can stay sure that they remain active and have someone to spend time with.

Free Pet Adoption For Seniors Programs

What are the best pets for seniors? The choice depends on the personal preferences of those who adopt. For some people, a hamster may be a perfect option. Others would prefer cats and dogs that need more attention and care.

If you have made up your mind and want to take a pet to your family, the next step is finding an animal shelter. There are many programs for free pet adoption in the US. 

  • Pets for the Elderly Foundation

The Pets for the Elderly Foundation has assisted with the adoption of animals on a daily basis for years. They’ve already helped in 78 000 cases and have an impressive number of animal shelters reaching 54 across the US. Not only is it a free pet adoption for seniors program, but they also cover pre-adoption fees and veterinary checks. The Pets for the Elderly Foundation is a volunteer organization that accepts donations should you want to support them.

  • Nike Animal Rescue Foundation – Senior For Seniors

Nike is not only a company that produces trainers and running apps; it also has many volunteer programs. The Seniors for Seniors Program is one of the best free pet adoption for seniors that enables people who are 60 years and over to adopt senior cats and dogs. This win-win exchange is a beautiful idea. The older pets for seniors with a low chance of adoption become adopted without any fees and medical expenses. There are, of course, several requirements for the applicants. One of them is being physically and mentally capable of caring for an animal, owning a house or renting one, and passing an interview.

  • Pet Guardians

Pet Guardians focus on finding companion pets for seniors. They search for older adults who would like to adopt pets with the help of social workers and volunteers. They don’t have any shelters and mainly help senior individuals to find furry companions and permanent homes. The primary goal of this organization is to match seniors with pets.

How Else Can I Help My Senior Loved Ones?

Adopting a pet for your senior loved ones is not the only thing you can do. Despite having a reliable companion, don’t forget to care for a pet and support your seniors financially and emotionally. Helping seniors includes trips to the vets, routine expenses, and monitoring their safety even though they have a pet. It may be challenging to keep track of your loved ones without interrupting their privacy, so it would be a great option to use an emergency alert app like AllsWell.

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Last Update: 23 March 2024