Elderly Companionship Program

Loneliness is among the most serious disorders for older persons. Pets offer affection, unconditional love, fight loneliness, and can help ease the loss of a loved one.

Tulsa SPCA Elderly Companionship Program provides the gift of health and happiness to senior citizens in need, while saving the lives of dogs and cats.

Nationally, more than six million animals are destroyed annually because homes are not available – making euthanasia of adoptable animals the number one cause of death for both dogs and cats.

The most serious disease for older persons is not cancer or heart disease – it’s loneliness.  Pets offer affection, unconditional love, fight loneliness, and can help ease the loss of a loved one.

The person-pet bond is well-known to promote health and happiness and our staff will work with you to find that perfect companion.

“Benefits are Ten-fold”

While the primary benefits to animals are obvious – to place them in loving homes and keep them from being destroyed – the benefits to elderly persons are ten-fold (versus non-pet owners).

  • Pets lower blood pressure and pulse rateIMG_9301
  • 21% fewer visits to the doctor
  • Lessen depression
  • Easier to make friends (enhanced social opportunities)
  • Seniors become more active
  • Pets offer affection and unconditional love
  • Pets ease loss of a loved one
  • Pets fight loneliness
  • Seniors take better care of themselves
  • Sense of Security

In 1980, a clinical research project at Brooklyn College, New York, studied heart-disease patients after their discharge from the hospital. Dr. Erika Friedmann, Ph.D., professor of health and nutrition sciences at the College, tracked each survivor, studying their medical histories, lifestyles, families, relationships – every documentable detail. Co-researcher Dr. Aaron Katcher, M.D., reported:

“The presence of a pet was the strongest social predictor of survival…not just for lonely or depressed people, but everyone – independent of marital status and access to social support from human beings.”

“How Community-Based Elderly People Perceive Pet Ownership,” New J., Wilson C., Netting F., 1986.

Surveyed Attitudes of the Elderly Regarding the Benefits of Pets:

  • Talk to their pet 95%
  • Pet helps when they feel sad 82%
  • Pet helps when they physically feel bad 71%
  • Touching their pet makes them feel better 65%
  • Confides in their pet 57%

…Conclusion: Pets are an integral component of the social support network for many individuals and therefore probably contribute to public health and well-being.