A help for elderly people and their pets

CuraMI&ProteggiMI is a project of the Fondazione Ravasi Garzanti launched in 2020 that, thanks to the experience of the Cooperativa Sociale Eureka!, Associazione InCerchio, and the Cooperativa Piccolo Principe Onlus, created a network of services in Milan to focus on the well-being of the elderly. The involved areas develop in order to offer various kinds of services, which can be integrated, to accompany people in their project of life.

To this initial project a new aspect is added that widens and completes the field of activity: PortaMI a Spasso. With this project, new actions on behalf of the elderly and their pets are available so that with increasing age the elderly may overcome the difficulties that arise in the management of their pets, and so they won’t have to give up the company of their animals and all the benefits that derive from it, saving, furthermore, the pets from a grim future. Whenever owners are no longer able to look after their own pets it’s frequent that they give them up and leave them in animal shelters.

The general objective of the project regards the impact of loneliness on a segment of the population that is already characterized by fragility. These last years have heightened their fragility, and have made the sense of loneliness more acute for people in general, and for the elderly in particular. The activities that involve the elderly and animals are a vehicle for social relationships in a neighborhood and in their community of reference, and may be a first approach to help since it doesn’t make the elderly the object of the initiative.

It has been demonstrated, in fact, that a positive correlation exists between the possession of a pet and the well being of the animal’s owner. This relationship is stronger when the pets perform a role in satisfying the needs of older adults (McConnell, et al., 2011).

PortaMI a Spasso has three phases:


The training of workers able to weave together their ability to offer social- and health-related assistance in a family setting with their ability to manage pets, whether regarding relationships or the well-being of the animal.


Once trained, these people will be hired to support elderly citizens with activities and services, such as walks (dog sitting) with and without the pet’s owner, occasional grocery shopping for pet food (which is often difficult to transport), accompanying the pet to the vet on request, accompanying the pet to the groomer, recreational game activities at home, recreational game activities outside whether alone or in groups of project participants and involving the animal shelters of Milan.


La terza fase del progetto ha l’obiettivo di misurare l’influenza degli animali da compagnia sulla salute fisica e psicologica delle persone anziane.
3. The objective of the third phase is to measure the influence of pets on the physical and psychological health of the elderly. The National Innovation Centre for Aging (NICA) – with which the Fondazione Ravasi Garzanti and the team of CuraMI&ProteggiMI collaborate in the development of innovation solutions for the elderly – has invested a lot in the development of different approaches to technology that can favor a healthy longevity. This research will analyze the impact of the human-animal bond on the integrated health of families and communities through the use of intelligent devices for pets in order to measure the physical and psychological health of the elderly living with pets. Objectively measuring the health and well-being of both the pet and its owner, this study will furnish precious indications about the way in which the human-animal bond may influence the results of the health of families and communities.