Senior Services of Southwest Michigan is collecting pet food for seniors October 8th - October 12th. Drop off 10 pound or smaller bags of pet food or monetary donations to Senior Services, 918 Jasper Street in Kalamazoo, or visit Cool 101 FM live radio broadcasts from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. at these Harding’s Friendly Markets locations:
Mon., Oct. 8—5161 W. Main, Kalamazoo
Tues., Oct. 9—618 N. Riverview, Parchment
Wed., Oct. 10—3750 W. Centre St., Portage
Thurs., Oct. 11—6330 S. Westnedge, Portage
Fri., Oct. 12—6430 W. Stadium Dr., Oshtemo
Eldercare Locator’s Expand Your Circles Prevent Isolation and Loneliness As You Age brochure (https://eldercare.acl.gov/Public/Resources/Brochures/Index.aspx) reports:
An estimated one in five adults over age 50 – at least 8 million – are affected by isolation.
Older adults who describe themselves as lonely have a 59% greater risk of functional decline and a 45% greater risk of death.
Negative health effects of isolation and loneliness among older adults include higher rates of chronic health conditions, weakened immune system, depression and anxiety, Dementia including Alzheimer’s Disease, admission to nursing homes or use of emergency services, and death.
“While the benefits of companionship are clear, taking care of a pet can be financially and physically challenging for seniors,” said Meals on Wheels America President and CEO Ellie Hollander.“While the benefits of companionship are clear, taking care of a pet can be financially and physically challenging for seniors,” said Meals on Wheels America President and CEO Ellie Hollander. “Meals on Wheels Loves Pets [grant initiative] helps local Meals on Wheels providers alleviate this hardship and at the same time reduce the negative effects of isolation.” Pets save lives. “On $800 a month, the money doesn’t stretch too far,” said one pet food bank recipient. “I suffer from anxiety and my dog and cat help me so much. Taking a little charity keeps us together – I need them to live.”
The Kalamazoo Humane Society does offer an emergency pet food program which is open to the public, but Senior Services also offers a pet food bank for pet owners aged 55 years and older residing in Kalamazoo County. This is another resource that senior pet owners can take advantage of, so they aren't faced with having to choose food for themselves or their pets.