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Seniors Helping Seniors

The hair around his temples has gotten a little gray.  He doesn’t always react when you walk by because his hearing has gotten poor. His eyesight is slowly failing and oftentimes he doesn’t seem to notice you’re there. Some times when I watch him, he’s just staring off into space. He sits for hours in his favorite chair and when he gets up, he’s a little old man, arthritic and sore. His affection level is still high though, and he is always anxious to talk, but go for a walk, no way.  He just doesn’t have as much energy as he did when he was younger. He is a senior, a senior dog. Yet in spite of his aging, he is no less needed or loved by his family. Just as it does with humans, the aging process affects pets. Many times, as human seniors begin to slow down, they feel depressed and find it more difficult to find meaning in their lives.

Assisted living communities are home like atmospheres where many seniors are choosing to spend part of their retirement years.  They have as much independence as they want with the knowledge that personal care and support services are available if needed. The communities offer exercise, entertainment, activities and delicious meals and the opportunity to socialize and make new friends. There has been much success in independent and assisted living communities, nursing homes and hospitals when trained, therapy dogs visit with residents. Diane and David Pierce of St. Louis, Missouri, took it one step further. After spending several years working for animal rescues and fostering over sixty dogs, they decided to start an adoption service that specifically matched senior dogs with seniors still living in their homes. Senior Dogs 4 Seniors has three programs to accommodate both the needs of the senior dog and the senior owner’s capability for caring for them. They have set up charities and volunteer programs to carry out the services

an old man and his dog by *Heinay on deviantART

A – Adoption
Clients are asked to pay a one-time adoption fee.
B – Basic Care
The basic care plan includes routine veterinary care and grooming services. Their volunteers will pick up the dog and take them to the vet or groomer and return them to the owner
C – Complete Care
The complete care plan includes routine veterinary care and grooming services as well as a monthly visit to deliver dog food, medications, heartworm preventatives, flea and tick preventatives. The plan also covers trimming the dog’s nails and cleaning up the yard.

There are a number of reasons that so many older dogs find themselves without homes. The top reasons for dogs being relinquished to animal shelters include:
Moving – Landlord issues – Cost of pet maintenance – No time for pet – Inadequate facilities – Too many pets in home – Pet illness – Personal problems – Biting

Senior Dogs 4 Seniors evaluate the dogs and the needs of the seniors who will be adopting them prior to the adoption placement.
What it means to the dogs:
It is difficult to find homes for senior dogs and they are often put to sleep because no one has time for them. Older pets make great companions, especially for seniors. The majority of older pets are already housebroken, have been trained to walk on a leash, and are calmer and more settled in life.
What it means to the people:
Pets Lower Blood Pressure. A study of healthy patients showed that people over 40 who own pets have lower blood pressure than people who do not have pets. Another study showed that talking to pets decreased blood pressure.

Fewer Trips to the Doctor. Seniors who own dogs go to the doctor less often than those who do not. In a study of 1,000 Medicare patients, even the most highly stressed dog owner/guardians in the study had 21 percent fewer physician contacts than non dog owner/guardians.
Less Depression. Studies show that seniors with pets do not become depressed as often as those without pets.
Easier to Make Friends. Seniors with pets meet more people and like to talk about their pets.
Seniors become More Active. Seniors with pets go for more walks and are generally more active than those without pets.
Pets are Friends. Most everyone, but especially seniors, will say that pets are their friends.
Pets Ease Loss. Elderly people who suffer the loss of a spouse and own a pet are less likely to experience deterioration in health following that stressful event.
Pets Fight Loneliness. You are less likely to be lonely with a canine friend around.
Seniors Take Better Care of Themselves. Seniors take good care of their pets and better care of themselves when they own a pet.
A Sense of Security. Pets help seniors to feel that someone they trust is always around.

800Seniors.com is a leading referral system in the Elderly Healthcare industry. We are located on 5400 Atlantis Court, Moorpark, California 93021. 800Seniors.com provides the perfect match between seniors searching for health care provisions such as Home Care, Home Health, Skilled Nursing, Hospice Care, Medical Supplies, as well as a variety of Assisted Living San Jose and Care Homes nationwide. Take the confusion and hassle out of the search. For more information call 1-800-768-8221, visit http://800seniors.com or fax us your details at (805)517-1623.

About The Author: Gloria Ha’o Schneider is an expert in senior citizen and baby boomer issues. Her topics revolve around Senior Living and Healthcare to provide the latest information to this demographic as well as their families and loved ones.

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