DON’T MISS OUT ON THE BENEFITS OF PETS
We tend to picture energetic dogs and cats thriving in young families with children, but animals are often happy to live with older, less active adults. These kinds of homes are especially suited to older animals that might otherwise have to spend their last days in the pound. Depending on your schedule and mobility, you might not want to adopt a large dog. But small lap dogs, cuddly cats, and even birds can make a great addition to your home. As long as you do not suffer from allergies, having a pet can be great for your health. The American Heart Association says pet ownership, particularly dog ownership, may be linked to a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease. Researchers found evidence to support this claim when they discovered that registered dog owners in Sweden had lower rates of cardiovascular disease and a lower risk of death than individuals without dogs. Physical fitness is far from the only benefit of pet ownership. The love and companionship our animal friends offer can alleviate depression or loneliness. Linda Anderson, founder of the Angel Animals Network in Minneapolis, says,
“Older pet owners have often told us how incredibly barren and lonely their lives were without their pet’s companionship, even when there were some downsides to owning an active pet.” Caring for a pet takes work, but for many people, the benefits greatly outweigh the challenges. An energetic dog encourages you to leave the house and go for walks, a talkative parrot makes time spent alone less lonely, and a soft cat curled up on your lap helps alleviate a stressful day. If you can’t have a pet in your home due to lease restrictions or mobility challenges, you don’t have to miss out on the benefits of being around animals. Consider volunteering at a local animal shelter. You can help care for cats, dogs, and other animals while they wait for their own forever home. There are thousands of pets in shelters across the country waiting for someone to care for them. If there’s room in your retirement plan, why not invite one into your home? You might discover both you and your new friend have something to gain. Every aspect of these stickers was carefully considered. “We asked survivors to create the messaging for the stickers so that they would speak directly to the people we are trying to help,” Marilyn notes. “They also have a number for the National Human Trafficking Resource Center, which is part of the Polaris Project.” The Livingston County Abolitionist Project has heard from the folks at Polaris that these stickers are being mentioned often. It may sound like a modest initiative, but it’s having a huge impact. In addition to the sticker campaign, the Livingston County Abolitionist Project provides resources and education for parents and teens about the dangers of human trafficking. An Elder Care Firm Client Making a Difference
SPOTLIGHT ON MARILYN GALVAN
Here at The Elder Care Firm, we’re lucky to serve a remarkable group of people. Marilyn Galvan is certainly one of them. We wanted to feature Marilyn in this newsletter not because of the work we’ve done for her, but because of the work she’s doing in our state. Her efforts are nothing short of remarkable, and we are proud to shine a light on her and the community group she is a part of.
After retiring, Marilyn began devoting her time to fighting human trafficking in Michigan. She heads the Livingston County Abolitionist Project and has done incredible work to get victims of trafficking the help they need. “We started with a simple idea,” Marilyn says. That idea was to place stickers on the insides of stall doors in Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) rest areas for victims to take and use to call for help. “We were allowed to run a test of the Rest Area Label Project in two locations around Brighton,” she notes. “Once people realized that our stickers were working, we were able to expand. I’m proud to say they’ll soon be in all 70 MDOT rest areas.”
“We may have started as a small community group, but we’ve grown into something formidable,” Marilyn states. If you’d like to help this incredible effort, we encourage you to visit stompslavery.org. We are honored to know Marilyn and are so grateful for all she has done to make our state a safer and better place.
2 • www.MichiganEstatePlanning.com
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