A charity that brings pets and people together is expanding its outreach during the coronavirus pandemic. Pets for the Elderly specializes in helping people over 60 find a loving, four-footed companion.
HELPING SHELTER PETS AND PEOPLE FIND EACH OTHER
Loneliness is hard on seniors, and animals make wonderful companions. Those two facts are the driving force behind Pets for the Elderly, whose mission is to end loneliness among the elderly. The organization calls its program Companion Connection. The program helps pay the adoption, spaying and other fees for people over 60 who adopt shelter pets. It’s a win-win. Seniors find a fluffy friend, and pets find a forever home.
Around 50 shelters in 30 states take part in the program. It has helped more than 100,000 shelter pets find homes.
FORGING A LIFELONG CONNECTION
This week, the organization announced it was ramping up efforts during the COVID-19 pandemic. Pets for the Elderly is reaching out to help older people pay for food, grooming and in-home visits from shelter workers.
Loneliness is a serious problem for older people. According to the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine, more than a third of adults aged 45 and older feel lonely, and nearly one-fourth of people over 65 are “socially isolated.” Many are even more isolated without the ability to socialize or receive visitors because of the pandemic.
IT’S THE RIGHT TIME
Executive Director Susan Kurowski said this is the right time to increase the organization’s efforts.
“With COVID, bridging this isolation gap with companionship is going to show, when we look back, as being key to many people’s mental wellness. You don’t have to live alone to feel isolated.”
Has a pet helped you cope with the pandemic? Let us know.
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