As we near the later stages of our lives, we get to appreciate the full gravity of having someone to love and be loved by our side. Aging pet owners are often forced to give them up, simply because they find caring for themselves and their pets too difficult.
Thankfully, one Florida-based organization aims to extend the period seniors get to spend alongside their beloved pets, by helping them perform all the daily tasks that are required.
According to Pet Peace of Mind‘s president, Dianne McGill, the fact that most owners consider their pets to be “essential family members”, drove her organization to see the need to “acknowledge and validate” the role pets play as an essential part of their owner’s support network.
Being a non-profit organization, Pet Peace Of Mind is staffed by volunteers and funded through donations alone. The majority of their activity focuses on training and guiding hospice staff members to help their patient’s pets and to cover all the expenses that are needed for the pet’s food and equipment.
McGill believes that for many of the hospices’ terminally ill patients, the pets are nothing less than their lifeline – “For many terminally ill patients, pets provide a powerful antidote, sometimes the most powerful antidote – to isolation, loneliness, and depression. Pets are great medicine for coping with the anxiety the comes from dealing with a serious medical condition.“
In addition to helping elderly hospice patients keep their pets, The organization also gives them the peace of mind of knowing that if they pass away, the organization will find their beloved pets new grateful owners that will appreciate their support.
Watch ABC’s First Coast News’ report on Pet Peace of Mind here: