May 9th, 2019
Bringing a pet to senior living is often a major deciding factor when choosing the right community. While animals are an added responsibility, they offer a host of mental and physical health benefits to their senior owners.
Here’s a breakdown of the pros furry friends provide.
Pets make great companions. For seniors who may spend large amounts of time alone, pets are trustworthy comrades who can ease the burdens that come with loneliness.
When moving into a senior living community, pets often provide a sense of familiarity. It can take time to adjust to a community and form connections with residents and staff, and having a pet waiting for you in your apartment can help during this transition.
An added tip: People love animals, and your pet could help start conversations with fellow residents (and likely make you the most popular neighbor on the block!).
Some pets are more active than others and can help get their owners more active, too. For seniors who have dogs, for example, taking them for regular walks helps them continue to move their bodies.
The health benefits of physical activity aren’t a mystery. From improvements in cardiovascular health to supporting a healthy weight, increasing mood and encouraging an independent lifestyle, seniors who are active on a regular basis live longer, healthier lives.
Added Sense Of Purpose
As we age, the number of responsibilities we have lessens. We retire, our children grow up and start families of their own and we have greater support to handle everyday tasks.
Pets are a commitment and they need care on a daily basis. And for seniors whose pets are relying on them, this helps give them a sense of responsibility.
Pets also help to add daily structure. They’re often on a consistent feeding schedule, for example, which can help seniors manage their day-to-day routines.
What To Consider When Choosing A Pet
If you or a loved one would like to get a pet, there are a few things to keep in mind:
- Type of pet: Does your family member have mobility issues? A bird or an older cat may be a better choice than an active puppy.
- Experience: Have you always lived with cats? If so, a dog might not be the best option.
- Place of residence: While all of our StoryPoint communities allow pets, not all senior living communities do. Make sure pets are allowed and that you have ample time and resources to care for your pet.
RELATED CONTENT: Pre-Moving Checklist For Seniors
Interested In Senior Living?
As you embark on your journey to find the right (pet-friendly) senior living community for you or a loved one, use this guide to maximize your community tour experience.