Your elderly mother lives alone in Manatee County, Florida, and you manage your own household in another state. Ever since dad died a year ago, she just hasn’t been the same. Mom seems depressed, and isn’t eating or sleeping enough, or getting the exercise she needs. Now you’re worried that her health and wellbeing may be at risk. What should you do? Studies have found that an effective way to keep seniors more independent and active is by getting them a companion animal.