"PETS OF OLDER PERSONS" PROGRAM
New South Wales. Australia.
The “Pets of Older Persons” Program helps elderly who are socially isolated and need help caring for their pets or in some cases palliative care patients.
When possible elderly are asked to pay for veterinary, grooming and boarding fees at a discounted rate.
The “Pets of Older Persons” Program helps:
-Elderly with temporary foster care and emergency boarding for their pets in case owners need medical treatment, respite or other assistance
-Elderly with subsidized veterinary treatment at the RSPCA Sydney Vet Hospital
-Elderly who need help with grooming their pet
-Provide home visits to help elderly with basic pet care
The benefits of an elderly person being able to keep their pet include:
-Increased sense of responsibility and caring for another being
-A regular activity and fitness routine for walking, grooming and feeding
-Increased use of sensory and motor skills when petting, touching, smelling, etc.
-Decrease in depression and loneliness
-Sense of security and safety for those living alone.
The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) looks to volunteers to:
-Help elderly with transportation for taking animals to the vet
-Provide foster care for pets of elderly when elderly are in hospital or respite
-Help with walking the dog for an elderly person
-Help elderly with feeding dogs, cats, birds, fish etc.
-Donate pet food and pet items such as beds, toys, and other supplies to help the pets of elderly
The “Pets of Older Persons” Program was originally started by the Aged Care Assessment Team at St Joseph’s Hospital Auburn. “Aged Care” helped temporarily care for the pets of elderly who were admitted to hospital. The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) became involved to help elderly with veterinary care and emergency boarding for their pets.