Two Short Topics
#49 A Granfluencer and Pets
A Mega Granfluencer
Endwell, a non-profit organization dedicated to the belief that all people should experience the end of life in a way that matches their values, and goals describes Barbara Beswell this way:
As we increasingly rely on technology to problem solve, conceptual designer Barbara Beskind is a testament to the power of personal input. Using her experience as an occupational therapist, Barbara, then aged eighty-nine, was the advisor for aging-related projects for the international design firm IDEO. Inventive, practical, playful and always human-centered, Barbara and her can-do spirit set the stage for exploring design values that honor, respect, and expand our understanding of ourselves and others.
Barbara is now 98 years old and going strong. She has an important message to share.
The coronavirus pandemic affected many industries in significant ways, including the pet industry. During a November 2021 survey, 14 percent of respondents in the United States reported acquiring a new pet. This is an increase of four percent compared to December 2020, when 10 percent of respondents reported getting a new pet.
No doubt having a pet in your home during the best of times can bring joy. In more trying times, as we’re now experiencing, pets can offer more than just licks or good-natured nuzzles.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), along with the enjoyment they provide, pets offer a variety of health benefits, including:
Decreased blood pressure
Lowered cholesterol levels
Decreased levels of triglycerides, a type of fat in your body
Reduced feelings of loneliness
Increased opportunities for exercise and outdoor activities
Improved opportunities for social connection
It is said that a pet can help reduce the effects of dementia—anxiety, agitation, irritability, depression, and loneliness. Their friendliness and non-threatening way can help a dementia patient be more interactive when sometimes they can’t do so in social settings. That was not our experience. We had cats for years, but then his dementia mind did funny things and he wanted to get rid of them.
He had a robot dog which was his best friend.
In retrospect, I’d have just gotten a puppy. I could have cared for the dog and he might have found joy in a furry friend.
My daughter and I walk her two dogs daily. The older dog, Fallon, has adopted me. He is always glad to see me, gives me kisses and watches out for me. That is unconditional love at its finest. I wish my husband could have had that experience during his final years.
At the memory care facility where he stayed, employees brought in their pets to share with residents, but it wasn’t the same.
I still have two rescue cats, Bailey and Bella. They have been the best companions during the pandemic and dark days.
Just something to consider.