By CBS3 Staff

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A lot of people want to dip their toe into maybe getting an animal and fostering is a good way to do that. Also, people already have an animal in the home sometimes fostering is a very good thing that you can do.

Fostering can provide some relief for the animal that’s in the shelter.

Another group of people who may be very interested in at least thinking about fostering may be seniors over 70 years old with chronic pain. Animal advocate Carol Erickson joined Eyewitness News to explain the benefits.

A study that came out and was in the Applied Journal of Gerontology looked at seniors with chronic pain and they wanted to see whether using pets could help these people with their pain management.

The study looked at mood, relaxation, distraction and a lot of other things the goal to see if pets could help any dependence on pharmaceutical management of pain.

In other words, could the seniors stop taking as many drugs for their pain?

Overall, the pets or maybe even the fosters actually proved that they increased positive feelings in these seniors– they were a soothing presence and encouraged activity.  They even motivated activity even when the seniors were in pain.

The animals even made socializing easier if you’ve ever been out with a pet you know you will attract attention and they also encouraged regular daily routine.

The sleep routine got better because your pets like to sleep on schedules and they’ll keep you on a schedule.

People also said that these pets just kept them going.

Erickson says it’s something to think about and she suggests making sure you match the activity level of the pet and the senior.

But taking a walk with a nice older dog is a great thing to do for anybody of any age.

If you are interested in becoming a foster, visit

Watch the video for this week’s segment.