The Healing Power of Pets for Elderly People

Published on December 18, 2013

I met Trudy* about a year ago. She was suffering from renal failure, and was going to dialysis three times a week.  Over the following months, I visited Trudy once every month, and came to care about her plight between uncertainty and fulfillment. As winter drew upon us, she was more and more depressed.  On occasion, she opted not to go to dialysis because she could not bring herself to face the three long hours of sitting in the chair for treatment. One day, she was particularly sad.  I embraced her, held her, and told her what she meant to me.  As the year turned to a new one, Trudy came into ownership of a small dog. After that I saw a change in her.  She was less depressed. She had something enlightening to share her days and nights with. The longer her little dog stayed with her, the less depressed she was.  She may have even saved this little dog's life, but the reward of it all is how this animal helped change her life. Now when I go see her, she has a lighter spirit. I don't hear her talk so much about how hard life is for her, and I breathe a sigh of relief that she has this little, furry miracle, to bring her some joy and meaning to her life. 

Laurie Thornberg RNC

Nurse for Maine-ly Elder Care

« Back to News