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Pets make great Valentines in senior living communities

By: Country Meadows |

For many of us, our pets will be our Valentine on February 14. Last year Americans spent more than $751 billion on their furry valentines. For seniors, animals can provide a special connection to help alleviate loneliness on this special day as many recall a lost spouse or loved one.

Kathryn Swartz says her cat, Lexi, fills a void in her life and gives her a purpose.

Kathryn Swartz and her cat, Lexi, Country Meadows of Hershey residents, agree.

“I enjoy having Lexi here with me; she’s company. In fact she fills a void,” says Swartz. “If I didn’t have her here, I would be lost.”

This special relationship is a heart-warming example of why Country Meadows Retirement Communities are pet-friendly. Pets are welcome to move in with their human and every campus has house pets for residents and co-workers to love and enjoy.

Swartz and Lexi have a tight relationship; the cat rarely leaves Swartz’s side. They sit together, sleep together, and when Swartz leaves for dinner, Lexi waits for her by the door.

In addition to being adorable and loving, animals can have numerous therapeutic benefits for seniors. Science shows that animals can help reduce stress, lower blood pressure and, since keeping a pet can offer seniors a way to create and maintain a healthy routine and schedule, pet ownership tends to increase social interaction and physical activity while reducing symptoms of depression.

To help seniors continue to care for their pets, Country Meadows created a Pet Care Program for its residents. Designated Pet Care Coordinators offer services including walking pets, filling bowls, changing litter boxes, brushing, coordinating grooming and veterinary visits, administering medications, exercise…nearly everything an animal needs to remain happy and healthy while living with his/her human.

“God made [animals] for us, says Swartz, reiterating that pets are good company. “When you have a pet, you’re not alone. It feels good to look after her and have that responsibility, a purpose.”

4 thoughts on “Pets make great Valentines in senior living communities”

  1. Dr. Yvonne G. Laurenty says:

    Here at Country Meadows of Bethlehem, I have a perfectly wonderful 16-year-old seal point Siamese named Chipper. He and I found each other when my husband Bobby had died and I needed some life in my suddenly quiet home. Chipper is named for his personality as well as for Chipper Jones of the Atlanta Braves (I am a Mets fan who grudgingly paid respects to that Braves player who definitely had the Mets’ number).

    We moved here from NJ in June of 2019. Not the least of Country Meadows attractions was that pets are allowed. I would never move somewhere that didn’t permit Chipper. Since arriving we have come across a bevy of other cats, including Amos, Max, Scosie, and others whose names we have yet to learn. Chipper is especially popular with many residents who, when they knock on my door, I’m not sure whether they’re coming to visit me or Chipper!

    1. Country Meadows says:

      Dr. Laurenty,

      We love having you and Chipper! Pets just make like better. Thank you (and Chipper) for choosing Country Meadows as your home.

  2. Robert DeBalso says:

    We love our little rescue Yorkie mix. Oscar is the best dog we ever had, including all the rest.

    1. Country Meadows says:

      Mr. DeBalso,

      Your note warms our heart … as do our pets! Thanks for sharing.

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