The Connection Between Seniors and Pets

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On Thursday, March 7, at 11:00am, Jane Welsh, Executive Director, and JP Hooker, Outreach Coordinator, of the Animal Care Shelter of Kent County (formerly known as the Humane Society) will present information on the benefits of pets to older adults. The event will be held upstairs in the Chestertown Town Hall and is sponsored by HomePorts. All those interested are invited to attend.

Several studies have documented the relationship between pet ownership and cardiovascular disease, “with many reporting beneficial effects, including increased physical activity, favorable lipid profiles, lower systemic blood pressure, improved autonomic tone, diminished sympathetic responses to stress, and improved survival after an acute coronary syndrome,” according to the American Heart Association.

The talk will also touch on the option of having senior pets, pets that are not as rambunctious and can adapt to a senior’s lifestyle and needs, according to Karen Wright, HomePorts Executive Director.

HomePorts is a membership organization helping older adults continue living safely and independently in their own homes. Set up by and for local residents, HomePorts is incorporated as a Maryland nonprofit.

Those eligible for membership include anyone over 55 living in the greater Kent County area. HomePorts is modeled after similar organizations operating successfully in other regions of the country.  Founding members spent two years studying other such “villages”, which are springing up rapidly in many communities and are cited by experts as the wave of the future.

HomePorts resources include a cadre of vetted volunteers and referrals to reliable service providers in the fields of transportation; interior and exterior home and yard maintenance; grocery & household services; and personal assistance & trouble shooting.  Additionally, HomePorts encourages participation in social, educational, and cultural activities.

HomePorts partners with Upper Shore Aging and the Shore Regional Health System. It offers financial assistance to those with limited incomes.

Information is available Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., by calling 443-480-0940 or go to www.homeports.org. The e-mail address is info@homeports.org.

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