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Senior to Senior: Senior Pets

Alone. Alone. Alone. No one to talk to, no one to take care of, no one to greet you when you come home after a day of work, play, or errands. No one to set the tenor or your day. Depression and loneliness can occur at any age, but seniors are more vulnerable than most. Even active seniors spend more time at home than anywhere else. Whether they are depressed or not is an individual conundrum, but it is shameful to waste precious years in a perpetual state of unhappiness. An animal to love might be the answer. Most seniors agree that being needed and having something, or someone, to take care of gives them a sense of purpose. Pet lovers wonder how anyone could get through the day without a “best friend” in their house. People who aren’t pet lovers are just as adamant, feeling they are too old to be responsible for the care and feeding of themselves, much less anyone else. What if the pet outlives you? Granted this is a concern and one not to be taken lightly. Talk with friends, family members, or senior adoption agencies and come up with a plan. You might be surprised to learn that everything from food deliveries, at home veterinary services, dog-walking and rehoming options are available. Being able to care for someone is what we do and what we need. Pet Therapy has been used for years to relieve stress, reduce feelings of loneliness, and even offers physical health benefits. What’s not to love? Of course seniors need to consider their own health and capabilities before committing to the care of a pet. Puppies and kittens are too much, but what about adopting a senior pet. Older pets need just as much love, if not more, and make perfect companions. Welcome a mature companion into your home. They are already housebroken, and their personalities are pretty much set. What you see is what you get. They have outgrown their energetic phase, and will adapt to your needs, whether you want someone to exercise or just someone to hang out with. Friends who have pets seldom complain about depression or loneliness.