A Prescription for Life
Judy Kent, ECM Care Coordinator
Judy joined Elder Care Management in October 2016 after a career in business. She has an undergraduate degree in education and a Master’s in Business Administration. Her interest in caring for the elderly was an outgrowth of her three years spent as the primary caregiver for her mother, who battled dementia and Alzheimer’s. Judy serves on the Board of Directors at Homeward Bound Golden Retriever Rescue and when she is not working with the elderly, she is working with dogs.
Our golden years are supposed to be our best, but too often, the loss of loved ones, control over health conditions, or financial independence creates barriers that diminish quality of life. Stress, isolation, and depression can ensue. In fact, while older adults make up 12% of the U.S. population, they account for 18% of all suicide deaths.
Sometimes, the best medicine does not come in a pill bottle, but in a furry friend. Animals in the home can open the lines of communication with older adults, minimize their isolation, and even improve physical conditions. Animals provide companionship, unconditional love, and friendship. They can also lower blood pressure, reduce stress, and increase physical activity – all leading to healthier lives and fewer doctor visits.
A pet provides a reason to look forward. At the same time, an animal’s joy of living “in the moment” can be transferred to their human. Most importantly, a pet can encourage increased socialization. We are a nation of animal lovers; pets have a way of bridging divides and creating common bonds.
Recognizing the value of companionship for humans and canines alike, Homeward Bound Golden Retriever Rescue in Elverta, CA offers the Golden Touch Program – a senior-to-senior connection matching people of a certain age and limited income with senior dogs looking for someone special to share their golden years.
A little help from trusted friends or family members can keep pets safely in older adult’s homes – ensuring a prescription for quality of life for years to come.