We’re all familiar with the organization called Meals on Wheels, which delivers meals to the elderly or those who are unable to prepare food. While this program is a great way to ensure that seniors nationwide are consuming the proper nutrients, this oftentimes leaves out a senior’s closest loved one: his/her pet.
But luckily, Meals on Wheels’ new program called PALS (Pets Assisting the Lives of Seniors) will provide food to both seniors and their furry loved ones.
Feeding Seniors, Feeding Pets
According to a recent news article, the idea for this new PALS Program came about when Meals on Wheels volunteers noticed an increasing trend among their elderly clients: those who received the meals were actually using the food to feed their pets. This led Meals on Wheels to form partnerships with shelters and other pet groups so that free pet food could be included in the free meal deliveries.
Shelters and pet groups deliver the food to Meals on Wheels, which then delivers the food for both seniors and their pets. (Meals on Wheels isn’t the only organization that does this, but it is the most well-known.) Since pets also reside with their owners at nursing homes and senior community centers, pet food is also delivered there.
Along with delivering free pet food, the PALS Program is also providing assistance with veterinarian bills. For seniors on a tight budget, it can be tough for them to take their pet to the vet on a regular schedule, but programs like this are making sure that pets have access to proper nutrients and proper care.
Perhaps the best part is that a large majority of those who qualify for the Meals on Wheels program also qualify for the PALS Program, meaning both seniors and their pets have access to the necessary nutrients. To see if you and your pet are eligible for this new PALS Program, visit http://www.mealsonwheelsamerica.org/signup/find-programs/ or speak with a Meals on Wheels volunteer.
These programs feeding seniors and their pets rely solely on donations and volunteers. Each month, approximately 3,000 pounds of dry food and 3,200 cans of wet food for both dogs and cats are needed to feed seniors’ pets nationwide. To learn how you can donate to this PALS program that benefits seniors and their pets, visit http://www.mealsonwheelsandmore.org/programs/pals-pets-assisting-the-lives-of-seniors.
By feeding seniors and their pets, Meals on Wheels with their PALS Program is ensuring that seniors across the nation are enjoying a higher and healthier quality of life with their furry friends.
How Pets Benefit Seniors
Pets do require a lot of time and work, but in the end, your pet gives you one of the best gifts in the world: a best friend. And for seniors who spend most of their time home alone, especially if their family members live far away, this can be one of the best and most meaningful things in the world. But there are other benefits to owning a pet for seniors, as well.
You may be unfamiliar with this term, but there is such a thing as pet therapy. Pet therapy is known to improve seniors’ emotional, social and cognitive function, meaning that along with providing companionship and love, pets can also lower one’s stress levels, heart rate and blood pressure.
With these proven health benefits, it’s important that programs feeding seniors and their pets exist. After all, pets really are man’s best friend!