SENIOR COMPANIONS


 
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The Senior Companions Adoption Program is all about senior humans rediscovering the joys of having a cat or dog in their lives. The program places senior cats and dogs (typically over 5 years of age) with senior citizens who are 60 years of age or older.

FCHS expert matchmakers will help you select a companion who fits your lifestyle and housing situation and the adoption fee is zero to you. Learn more about how to adopt a pet at FCHS.

Benefits of adopting

Research tells us that companion animals, such as cats and dogs, can help improve our physical and mental health. By adopting and spending time with an animal friend, you can experience the benefits of lowered stress levels and blood pressure. Cats and dogs provide friendship for lonely individuals, and open opportunities for interacting with others which an older person may miss if family is far away.

The quiet and doting home of a senior citizen is the perfect match for an older animal looking for a new home.

Senior animals are often gentler, calmer companionship, and often are already trained.

Dogs and cats can make ideal companions for senior citizens. Pet companions can offer loyalty, provide joy, and give unconditional love. Pets are totally accepting of their elderly owners. They don’t see any wrinkles or physical limitations. Instead, they only know they have someone to love and who loves them back. A pet’s devoted and affectionate nature can make a senior owner happier and even healthier.

Medical professionals who work with seniors have long noted the benefits a pet can make in the life of an elderly person!

• A pet offers a sense of well-being and independence, helping to prevent stress, depression and loneliness.

• Being responsible for another living creature can add new meaning and purpose to a senior’s life.

• Caring for a pet with activities such as feeding, grooming and walking helps people stay active, both mentally and physically, and thus enhances and increases the quality and quantity of her life.

• Numerous clinical studies verify that owning a pet can benefit a human’s physical health. For senior people that results in lower blood pressure, decreased stress, reduction in bone loss, lower cholesterol levels, and improved blood circulation.

Making the Right Choice

Adopting the right kind of dog can improve a senior person’s life. People of all ages should understand that caring for a pet comes with responsibilities, commitment and time, as well as physical and financial requirements – for senior people, these can be a bit different. Here is our guide to selecting a dog:

1. Adopting a dog from a rescue where the pet has been in a foster home is one excellent way for seniors to get a dog who’s energy needs are more known.

2. Another way is to work with a dog trainer or rescue volunteer experienced with assessing dogs in a shelter, to use their knowledge in selecting a pet that is more likely to be a good match.

3. Adopt an adult or senior dog. You can then see the dog’s actual temperament and energy level, and bonus is you may adopt an already trained dog!

4. Avoid puppies with their razor sharp teeth and teething stage.

5. Owning a dog includes a humane responsibility to that pet for their entire life. Smaller dogs can live 15 years or longer, and even larger dogs are now living 12 years and more. Plus, accidents happen.

Post adoption support

We want to make sure you and your new cat or dog are doing well, so after you take your new best friend home we visit you so that you can tell us about your experience with FCHS and how your new cat or dog is settling into your home.

If needed, we will assist you with food and annual medications.

If you become unable to take care of your new dog or cat, due to long-term hospitalization or stay in a nursing facility, you or a family member may return the animal to FCHS.

For more information about FCHS’ Senior Companion adoption program or to arrange a visit with one of our rescued pets, please call us at 850-223.2297.