As the pandemic carries on, communities have had to get creative with their resources, displaying resilience and genuine neighborly kindness at a time when the world has needed it most. Grocery runs are made for those less able to leave the house, fitness instructors are teaching classes from balconies and drive-by birthday parties are all the rage. Especially for the more senior (and, as a result, more at risk of sickness) members of our communities, help like this has been invaluable and appreciated.
But as much as one’s neighborhood can come together, there’s not much that can sufficiently replace a long hug from a grandchild or a raucous family gathering full of people you love. And that’s where Pets for the Elderly has come in.
A national nonprofit, Pets for the Elderly provides grants to participating animal shelters in order to offer adoption cost discounts to seniors. A new program, though, goes the extra mile: The organization is helping to cover things like vet bills, pet food and grooming where shelter employees check in on the adopted pets in their new homes. It’s a two-way street in that residents are able to more easily adopt a new friend and shelters are able to find forever homes for their pets.
Executive director of Pets for the Elderly Susan Kurowski told TODAY, "Now, especially with COVID, bridging this whole isolation gap with companionship is going to show -- when we look back -- as being key to so many people’s mental wellness. And you don’t have to live alone to feel isolated."
Most everyone can relate to the joy and comfort that comes from owning a pet, and especially in trying times such as these, it’s a step that our elderly can take in order to restore a sense of normalcy or togetherness.
Pets for the Elderly documents its happy pairings on an Instagram page, and you can just feel the delight that both the pets and seniors experience when they find each other.