Companion animals are not just pets; they are part of the family. When considering affordable living options for seniors, the benefits of pet-friendly assisted living make sense.
Pets are a part of the family, and when parents or grandparents move into assisted living, it can be challenging to adjust, especially when the community doesn’t accept pets. While all communities will not allow pets, it might be enough to step outside and see your little friends wagging their tails, waving you over for a pat and some love.
That is why more and more senior loved ones are switching to dog or cat-friendly retirement communities for their post-active lifestyle. This is the feature of pet-assisted living homes that attract elderly homeowners to choose the ideal place to spend the remaining years with their pets.
If you are caring for an elderly loved one who lives alone, you may worry about their safety. Many assisted living communities have started to offer pet-friendly senior living apartments to relieve some of the stress on the family members of their residents. The following are some of the top advantages of pet-friendly assisted living facilities that you should know about when making your decision.
Ward Off Depression
Going for a walk can be a great form of exercise, but it’s even better if you do it with your dog. Pet owners are less likely to suffer from depression, so having a pet encourages you to move more and could ward off depression. While an animal is never a replacement for professional medical care, pets can help reduce symptoms of depression, like loneliness or boredom.
If you want to get out of your home but don’t feel like leaving your pet, a pet-friendly assisted living facility is a great way to enjoy both. Instead of forcing yourself or a loved one into an environment where they don’t feel comfortable with their pets, find a pet-friendly assisted living facility where both you and your pets will be happy. Some facilities even have entire areas devoted to resident and pet interaction.
Prevent Heart Disease
The stress that comes with separation from your pet is linked to high blood pressure and an increased risk of a heart attack. Pets can be a calming presence, and pets in assisted living facilities can often provide companionship for those in need.
Taking care of pets can make you sharper. There’s an old saying that pets make us human, and there’s some truth to that statement. Having a pet around can encourage us to interact with others, including family members and friends. Staying social is essential for keeping cognitive skills sharp as we age, particularly if we live alone or in places where we don’t have much contact with other people regularly.
Many aging adults find pets and animal companions to be therapeutic. Spending time with a pet can improve your mood and make you feel more enthusiastic about your day-to-day life. Not only that but interacting with a pet may even help keep your mind sharp, which is especially important if you live in assisted living. One study found that people over age 65 who owned dogs scored higher on cognitive tests than people without dogs.