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what do you guys think?

March 22nd, 2005, 08:31 PM

I need feedback, I was agonizing as I always do over the older animals needing to be rehomed. Don't get me wrong I wish I could take them all, but the kittens and puppies go faster than the older ones. :sad:

So besides wondering if I can take a few more cats that look like the two I already have and then just convincing my husband that "no... it's the SAME cat.." :p (oh yeah I'd do it!)

What do you think of rehoming older pets to the elderly? I realize a frail granny that walks with a walker would not be ideal for a husky, or a JR for example, but I'm sure a lot of older pets would love the lifestyle of most elderly people.

What say you O Great Pet Board??

sorry, full moon tonight...;D

March 22nd, 2005, 08:37 PM
I say, hey, why not? One of my fave cats is the cat at my grandmothers nursing home. She was found as a stray, taken in by the nurses, and she is a lovely lil thing. they all chipped in and get her spayed, and she is just the most loving thing.

I guess my only worry is that, elderly people are ... well, elderly. There is a whole section of the Toronto Humane Society website for 'special needs' and thats where they put the animals that elderly folks had and couldn't take care of any longer.

I think contacting retirement homes in your area to see if they would be willing to take in an animal would be a good idea, its always worth a try.

Lucky Rescue
March 22nd, 2005, 08:41 PM
When older people are looking for a pet, we always try and match them up with any older cats we have. An older cat generally just wants love and a lap to curl up in. They wont' be climbing the drapes, pouncing on your feet at 3:00a.m. and trashing the house.:p

As well, giving a young cat to a senior nearly guarantees the cat will outlive the person and what happens to it then?

Pets are wonderfully theraputic for seniors.:)

March 22nd, 2005, 08:45 PM
I'm not sure any Ontario nursing homes would adopt any pets. They won't even accept humans many times during the year!!

One of the main problems with pets living in nursing homes is the lack of staff to care for a pet. Additionally, many seniors are very frail in these homes, with very loose skin that can tear and break very easily. Sometimes this can be very dangerous through no fault of the animal--simply the nature of the environment. There are also the allergy issues that are inevitable. Having pets visit these homes is a truly wonderful thing--if the home will let you in--but living there might be a bit of a leap IMHO.

On another note, i have heard of many seniors who have chosen to devote the remainder of their lives adopting sickly or aged dogs. They take one in, care of it until it's days are done and then take in another--love it and so's remarkable!

March 22nd, 2005, 08:45 PM
I think thats a great idea, but why isn't it arleady happening ??

I think having pets in retirement homes would be great to , and in institutions for autistic and intellectually challenged people, having animals around has been proven to be wonderful therapy.

I saw this great program in the states where they took unadoptable dogs from local shelters and gave them to inmates to obedience train.(the dogs lived with the inmates and a trainer came daily for obedience lessons) it was wonderful, I was crying watching it, it actually brought out the best in both, and both dog and inmate were forever changed by the experience. and alot of the inmates cried when the dogs had to go (adopted) !

March 22nd, 2005, 08:47 PM
I guess my only worry is that, elderly people are ... well, elderly

I know what you mean....I would hate for a new home to forget to feed the dog, for example.

I know rescues are really thorough in general, perhaps they could weed the bugs out of that, or maybe they already have an elderly re-home program I don't know.

I will be in contact with Manoir Kirkland (I think that's the name), semi autonomous housing, by May this year as a client of mine will go there. It'd be cool to have something to present to them that they could propose to their tennants. So many of them land there as widows/widowers and I'm sure could use the company.

March 22nd, 2005, 08:52 PM
One of the main problems with pets living in nursing homes is the lack of staff to care for a pet

I agree. And as short staffed as these facilities can be...I would want priority for my mother/father/other over someone going to walk the dog. And it's hardly fair to the dogs.

I would specify that it's for those in autonomous/semi autonomous housing.

This also gives a better chance that they would outlive the pet, to avoid another rehome :sad:

March 22nd, 2005, 09:18 PM
I have read quite a bit on the subject if older people and pets and I think why not! Granted, yes, they are older and some are frail. But the term "elderly" today is not what it was 30 or even 20 yrs ago. And there are so many geriatric pets who come to shelters looking for good homes. And have you ever witnessed the wonderment and utter change in personality of someone ill with Alzheimer's when they see a pet. I have and it does one's heart so much good! (Not to mention the amount of good it does for the person!) I guess that is in reference to visits.

But I look at my parents - in theor 70's - they are young 70's - and they are not alone. Go to Florida and see how many seniors have pets. I bet that state has more pets per capita than any other jurisdiction!

I do think you need to consider the pet's needs so I would not necessarily advise a kitten go to someone 94. But someone who is 65 is likely going to live until 85 - unless they are ill -. As for pets over 10, epsecially says cats with FIV, they can live with an elderly senior (i.e. 80 plus) and do very well for themsevles as well as for the senior. Seniors with pets are healthier and have a reason to talk to someone else in the home - if they happen to live alone.

In many ways, they are perfect pet companions. If they are not working (and I had an elderly aunt in Mass. who worked till she was 90), they are mostly home all day. And the aging baby boomers are all in much better shape than any previous aging generation so when uhm we (tho I am just on the cusp of being a boomer, lol) will be in even better shape, I hope, lol

My grandparents had pets until they were 86!

I think not giving a pet to a senior clearly qualifies as age discrimination.

March 22nd, 2005, 09:33 PM
I agree Ck, and I think on another note, many seniors that I have spoken to seem to like the idea of rescue, but they don't know who to contact, or how to go about it. Oh, granted, they all know of the SPCA but they feel it is far,( downtown) so they go to the pet shop (UGH!!) because it's closer.

I think that if I could hand it to them even if it means I am a middleman of sorts between them and the rescues. It could be interesting because I do home visits already with my job so I could access their capabilities and compare it to the needs of the pet.

I sent an email off to Senior to inquire about their pet policies and it came back undeliverable... ;) If at first you don't tomorrow!!

March 22nd, 2005, 09:57 PM
I did use the wrong terminolgy in the first line of my post.
My grandmother lives in a retirement home, not a nursing home (and she'd be kicking me in the butt for saying the wrong word)

Someone said that these are understaffed.... its not because there is a lack of workers, but they are getting paid better in the US! In Chatham, our college offers the Support Worker programs, and most end up down in the US because of lack of work here, or they get a better offer in the US. granted, Chatham is only one hour away from Detroit, so they can take our students easily.
Can someone explain what autonomous living is? never heard that term

March 22nd, 2005, 10:13 PM
I believe that semi-autonomous is like your own living area with 1 or more meals a day in the dining room on site. I used the term "autonomous" rather loosely to encompass those who were not using those meal services but still living in the same building.

March 23rd, 2005, 07:28 AM
I guess my confusion was with the nursing home/retirement home terminology!

I too have seen the love and affection that will blossom in an elderly persons eyes when they visit with an animal--a lot of these people have few visitors or people to care for them anymore. An animal, and babies for that matter, are wonderful for their spirits. However, I still don't think they should live in nursing homes!

As far as people who are in their 60s and 70s, I guess I just don't see them as elderly!! I can hardly view them as seniors anymore these days. Another point of my confusion! I do know that many people in this age group would love to love and care for older animals. I would even venture to say that most of these people do NOT live in retirement homes or nursing homes--rather they live in condos, apartments or homes of their own.

Find out where they hang out :) Perhaps bridge groups, church groups etc could be made aware of the need for adoptive furbaby parents....??

March 23rd, 2005, 08:15 AM
Phew...thank you Lizzie,I started to feel like a REAL senior reading all these posts.At 61 I have always had a cuddly little fuzzball or more to comfort me and make me laugh and when the day comes when I will no longer be able to care properly for an animal,I'll probably go down hill quickly.They are such a very important part of my life :love:
If I did not have my 3 cats,who might outlive me,I would not hesitate to take in a few elderly cats/'s the saddest thing seeing people dumping elderly pets,as sad as it is seeing a senior being abandonned in a nursinghome,I've seen it and having a live-in mature cat/dog would greatly improve their will to keep going,I am sure :love:

March 23rd, 2005, 08:18 AM
im all for seniors having something to love,

my great grandmotehr took in dogs right up till she was 92 years old.

the dogs were SO spoiled, however she did make sure that a family member would take the dogs in the event she passed away.

my aunt eventually inherited a lab from my great grandmother when she passed away


March 23rd, 2005, 11:32 AM
hehe! No problem Chico--I just don't think of anyone in their 60s as aged at all---perhaps smarter, wiser, more knowledgeable and a better cook..but old? I can't say I feel that way. Age is a personal matter when you grow up--you are only as old as you feel and behave. Sure you can now get an extra 10 per cent off at The Bay and Zellers, but that doesn't mean you are old if you don't feel that way inside!

In fairness, a friend of our family is 88 years old and still works a full time job, parties, has fun, etc---is she really considered elderly when she behaves in a more youthful manner than adults and young people do?!

Ok...i've totally veered off the purpose of this thread....

Sorry :)

March 23rd, 2005, 11:34 AM
This would take work, but a lot of cities have adult lifestyle buildings now--this would be a hub. All you would have to do, in the least, is create a fancy poster and ask to have it posted in the information area--some have bulletin boards in their recycling rooms or libraries/meeting rooms.

March 23rd, 2005, 12:14 PM
I personally think it's a great idea, if they are a good match! I had a lovely senior MinPin (16, they can live to be 20) and I had an elderly woman interested in adopting but she felt that he was too old, she was 95!!! LOL