Concord, California (EastBayDaily) — A pet is more than just a cute furry face, according to a new infographic released by Bay Alarm Medical, a nationwide provider of medical alert systems. Using data from numerous medical studies and surveys, the infographic sorts the benefits into three main areas – health, social, and safety – with supporting data under each category.
"Adopting a shelter pet can save two lives, or at least make them happier and healthier," says Alan Wu, marketing manager for Bay Alarm Medical. "Seniors with pets are likely to live longer, have better social connections, and feel safer both in and outside of the home."
During the month of February, Bay Alarm Medical is partnering with the Pets For the Elderly Foundation, a non-profit charity, that pays part of the adoption fees when a senior adopts a shelter pet from its network of shelters. The home medical alert company will donate a portion of its profits during February to the foundation in recognition of the important role companion animals have in the lives of seniors.
"Surprisingly, many studies show that simply being around an animal makes people feel happier and more relaxed," Wu explains. "More and more, we see hospitals and nursing facilities opening their doors to therapy animals: their presence helps boost morale of both the patients and the staff."
That's true for seniors living at home as well. A companion animal offers companionship, unconditional love, and can even encourage social interactions, such as during daily walks. "Just about everybody is a sucker for a furry face, so even strangers will often stop and strike up a conversation," says Wu. Less isolation means that seniors with pets are more likely to cope better with stress and depression.
"There are also many physical health benefits," Wu continues, "including lower blood pressure, fewer doctor visits, and even a longer lifespan. People with pets live, on average, two years longer than those without."
Bay Alarm Medical's home alert systems help seniors stay safer and more secure as they age in place in their homes, and many of the company's clients find that pets contribute to their feelings of well-being. Pets help alert their owners to dangerous situations like fires, and a barking dog is an excellent deterrent to home intruders.
"That's what makes the Pets For The Elderly Foundation a natural fit for Bay Alarm Medical," says Wu. We're excited to partner with an organization doing such important work to help seniors."
The full "How Pets Help Seniors Stay Happy and Healthy" infographic is available on the Bay Alarm Medical blog at http://www.bayalarmmedical.com/medical-alert-blog/infographic-how-pets-help-seniors-stay-happy-healthy/. Wu says the company encourages people to share the infographic with family members, caregivers, and anyone who works with seniors. "We want people to help spread the word: a pet is a friend for life."
About Bay Alarm Medical Bay Alarm Medical is an arm of Bay Alarm, one of the nation's oldest alarm monitoring companies. The company offers high quality medical alert systems together with 24/7 monitoring by professionally training emergency operators who contact family members, friends, neighbors and, if necessary, local 911 emergency services. Bay Alarm Medical's lightweight emergency pendants can be worn around the neck, wrist or on a belt clip.
About Pets For The Elderly Foundation The Pets for the Elderly Foundation is a 501(c)3 non-profit charity that helps pay the fees to participating animal shelters throughout the United States for senior citizens (age 60 and over) who adopt a companion dog or cat from a participating shelter — including pre-adoption veterinary exams and spay/neuter, if part of the adoption fee. In 2010, the Pets for the Elderly Foundation assisted with the adoption of 5,770 companion animals. Currently, 52 shelters in 29 states are participating in the program.