Pets can be a lifeline for the elderly, giving them a purpose and helping to benefit their mental and physical health and can also help combat loneliness.
But for those seniors living alone and diagnosed with serious illnesses or worse, they can sometimes worry about their pets more than themselves.
The worry of who will take care of their furry family member while they’re in hospital or after they’ve gone can be overwhelming.
Now an organization aims to help those seniors banish these worries so they can concentrate on getting themselves healthy again.
Pets help people with anxiety
Pet Peace of Mind ensures these important creatures are not overlooked by family members and not forgotten when their pet parent is unable to care for them.
“I know of countless patients who have said that their pet is their lifeline. Pets are great medicine for coping with the anxiety the comes from dealing with a serious medical condition,” Pet Peace of Mind president Dianne McGill said.
“For many patients, keeping their pets near them during the end of life journey and finding homes for their beloved pets after they pass is one of the most important pieces of unfinished business.”
The Oregon-based organization not only ensures that those with terminal illnesses don’t have to worry about their pet being looked after, they also make sure their four-legged friends stay close by.
‘Pets may be overlooked’
“People have come to bond with their pets in much the same way they bond with people,” their Facebook page reads.
“Pets are treated and loved like family members and they comfort their owners much like a close friend or relative. It is no wonder then that during the end-of-life journey, pets can play a critical role.
“Unfortunately, as families deal with grief and loss during hospice care, pets may be overlooked, forgotten, or even ignored by family members unfamiliar with the patient’s bond with a pet.”
The nonprofit relies on donations and volunteers to help with everything from grooming and walking a sick person’s pet to finding a new home after their owner passes.
‘Dog off to the pound’
“We had all seen things happen where the patient was in their ending days, and they were so concerned about what was going to happen to their pet, and the family would say, ‘It’s OK, we’ll take care of it,’ and then the patient would die and the dog was off to the pound,” Karen Jeffries, volunteer coordinator for St. Luke’s Hospice, told U.S. News and World Report.
Now pet owners can banish the worries they have over their beloved pets and know they are in safe hands should anything happen to them.
This is such a great idea; I’m so glad organizations like this exist.
Please share to pay tribute to these hard-working volunteers and staff who are providing so much comfort to those in need