It has been known for some time that companion animals, like cats and dogs, can improve our physical and mental health. Scientists have studied this phenomenon and have come to realize that pet ownership (or even handling of animals) may help the elderly (and the rest of us) live longer and have more enjoyable healthier lives.
According to the American Animal Hospital Association, a study in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society in May, 1999, demonstrated that "independently living seniors that have pets tend to have better physical health and mental well being than those that don't. They're more active, cope better with stress and have better overall health."
Some of the reasons for these health benefits are simple. Pets need taking care of and that in itself can get the elderly up and moving. A walk to the pet food store reaps cardiovascular benefits as well as helping to keep the limbs mobile. The simple act of brushing a cat or dog can significantly lower blood pressure and heart rate. Moreover, the companionship can ward off loneliness and depression.
By adopting a cat, you too can reap the medical benefits of reducing your blood pressure and lowering your heart rate by relaxing with your new best friend. If you think that someone elderly would benefit from cat ownership, the Patricia H. Ladew Foundation, Inc. has a program to adopt out senior cats to senior citizens. Depending upon the age and health status of the kitty in question, many also come with reasonable medical care included.
Many seniors are afraid to adopt a cat, worried of what will become of the cat if something happens to them. At the Foundation, every cat we take in has a home for life, so if something should happen, the cat can safely return to the sanctuary and will be cared for as he/she was before adoption. There is nothing like experiencing first-hand, the cuddle of a cat or seeing the contentment of a sleeping cat near you or in your lap! The Ladew Seniors for Seniors program is all about rediscovering (or continuing) the joys of having a cat in your life.
For further information on Seniors for Seniors, or to make an appointment to visit our facility and speak with one of our staff, please call the Patricia H. Ladew Foundation, Inc. at 516-922-CATS (2287) or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.