One of the most common misconceptions about senior living communities is that they are not pet friendly, which couldn’t be further from the truth. While each care facility has its own set of rules and regulations, most of them allow their residents to bring their furry friends. Some even have a resident cat or dog for those who don’t own one. So, if your pet-loving elderly loved one is no longer able to live independently, it may be a good idea to look into pet-friendly assisted living facilities in your area.
According to the 2019 University of Michigan National Poll on Healthy Aging, about 55% of adults aged between 50 and 80 have a pet. This doesn’t come as a surprise because everyone knows how pets can play a huge part in improving your quality of life. They are sweet and loyal creatures who can reduce your stress, make you feel loved, and even provide you with a sense of purpose.
Due to these health benefits, senior living communities such as Royal Garden Board and Care Homes allow residents to bring their pets to live with them. After all, having a pet can add years to your life by keeping you healthy, happy, and active.
Here are some of the biggest benefits of pet-friendly assisted living facilities you must know about.
You Will Always Have Company
It’s no secret that pets make for great friends. They are always there for you, never judge, and most importantly, will never make you feel alone.
After your loved one moves into a board and care home, they may feel a little lonely during the first few days. It’s completely normal to feel this way after such a big transition. However, having a cat or dog by their side during this time could make them feel much more comfortable.
With a furry friend by their side, the seniors won’t feel alone or bored in their new home.
Reduce Stress and Depression
Several research studies have proven that older adults with pets tend to have lower stress levels than those without pets. Similarly, animal companions are also great at warding off depression and anxiety. Most pets, particularly dogs, can also gauge their owner’s mood through their body language.
So, if your elderly loved one is struggling with depression or is feeling a little stressed about moving into a senior living community, being able to pet and play with their beloved pet will definitely cheer them up.
Prevent Heart Attacks
Did you know pet owners are less likely to get heart attacks? According to a 2017 study, those with a pet have a lower risk of getting most heart diseases.
This is because playing with your pets can lower your blood pressure and cholesterol level. Pets also can make you forget about your problems for a while as you enjoy their antics, which can prevent heart diseases in the long run.
Help You Stay Sharp
Pets keep you busy. Taking them out for a walk, playing with them, looking after their needs, and generally looking after your furry friends can give you purpose in your daily lives and keep your mind sharp.
Therefore, if your loved one has Alzheimer’s or another type of dementia, having a pet may add a little more structure to their lives. Caring for a pet can also reduce symptoms of memory loss in some patients.
Encourage an Active Lifestyle
If you are worried about the sedentary lifestyle of your elderly loved ones, you may want to consider getting them a pet.
Cats and dogs encourage a healthier lifestyle by adding exercise to your daily routine. Taking your pet out for a walk, strolling through the park, or running a few laps around the neighborhood can keep both the animal and its owner active.
Most pet-friendly assisted living communities allow their residents to bring along their furry friends because spending time with them can help build stamina and strengthen the core, preventing falls among the elderly.
Increase the Social Circle
From care and grooming to training and playtime, pet owners always find something common to talk about. In other words, your fluffy friends can be great ice breakers.
Dogs and cats help their owners initiate conversations by attracting the attention of those around them. Even if your loved one has trouble making new friends, their pet will surely help them forge new connections and increase their social circle.
What to Consider Before Bringing Pets to an Assisted Living Community
There are a few things you must keep in mind while looking for pet-friendly assisted living communities.
First, you must make sure your loved one is in a good enough condition to take care of their pet. Sometimes, not being able to look after a pet can be taxing for both parties involved. Secondly, consider your budget. Some breeds of dogs and cats require frequent grooming sessions. Some are also higher maintenance than others. Since assisted living can be a little heavy on one’s pocket, it may be a good idea to factor these additional expenses into your cost of living.
Thirdly, please make sure your pet will be comfortable sharing a space with other animals. If your pet is accustomed to running around in a big yard or moving around in a big space, it may not be happy with being confined to a smaller area.
Additionally, don’t forget to discuss these problems with the management at your chosen facility. You should also find out if the facility in question has any restrictions that may affect the pet’s routine.
Are You Looking for Pet-Friendly Assisted Living Facilities?
There are quite a few health benefits linked to having a pet. Apart from being loyal companions, they can also reduce stress, ward off depression, help fight dementia, and provide their owners with emotional support.
Since we value your connection to your beloved pets, Royal Garden Board and Care Homes encourage residents to bring their pets with them. We also have a resident dog at all of our locations. So, if you are looking for pet-friendly assisted living communities, please get in touch with us to schedule a tour.