Our furry companions bring us great joy through out our lives. It is a beautiful moment to see our dog or cat grow with our children or the delighted eyes of little ones when they have their first puppy or kitten. These are memories that are engrained in us for a lifetime. At any age, a pet is a joy, but when we age to a point of moving into an senior’s home, does that mean we should be denied the company of pets? Many elderly homes do not think so!
Since the 1980s many elderly homes have seen their resident’s age and leave this world. Some of these residents receive little to no visitors. Any nurse can tell you that the lack of being loved and needed takes its toll on a patient physically. Their regular ailments get worse. We are all social creatures and the fact is, each of us, as human beings need to be needed. So many retirement homes have chosen a new approach for making their patient’s final years very happy ones.
What is their solution to bring up the morale of their patients? They introduce dogs, cats, hamsters, and even in some cases pigs! Though nurses and aides take the time to make a few extra meals, and clean up a couple more unsightly messes, the residences of elderly homes open up their hearts and lives to these pets, teaching, training and loving them so much. Some elderly residences take the time to adopt from animal shelters and humane societies, so that these animals get a second chance as well. Some of the most isolated residences come out of their rooms to play with the cute kitten or the excited puppy. They begin to socialize with other patients, and their overall health begins to get better. As long as no one has any allergies, many elderly homes agree that pets become a permanent fixture in their homes.
The benefits to this practice are two fold. An elderly person receives the companionship of a trusty animal. He or she can teach and love the pet unconditionally. On the other hand, an animal is rescued from a humane society or a shelter and is given one of the most loving homes a pet could want.
We all need to be loved, whether it is a young child or an ailing elder, we need to show and receive love. Pets in elderly homes give and enjoy to receive that love, and the wisdom and love a senior can give a furry companion is surely to change a lonely pets life as well.