At Country Meadows, our residents bring the best parts of their lives with them—pets included. Americans love animals. So much so that in 2019, they spent $95.7 billion on their pets, and that number is projected to rise this year.
Having a pet helps get seniors out of the house, exercise, meet new people, feel needed and exchange lots of unconditional love. Research shows pets can help reduce stress, lower blood pressure and help alleviate feelings of loneliness, depression and even sadness following the loss of a loved one. The responsibility of caring for an animal provides a sense of purpose, a reason to get up in the morning and to be needed.
Country Meadows residents who care for pets report their animals enrich their lives in many ways and provide laughter and joy. One resident, Kathryn, says her cat, Lexi, is very special. “I enjoy having Lexi here with me; she’s company. In fact, she fills a void, she says. “If I didn’t have her here, I would be lost.”
For those residents who do not own a pet and appreciate animals, our communities have house pets for residents, visitors and co-workers to enjoy at their leisure. And therapy pets visit frequently. Country Meadows helps make life better—even for pets.
And animals benefit from the relationship, too. Retired pet parents tend to have more time to devote to loving an animal, which forms a strong, lasting bond.
Country Meadows resident, Bob, lives with a greyhound named Ozark. He says many senior living communities would not take Ozark, which was a factor in his decision to move to Country Meadows. “There were [senior living] places that would not take Ozark, so that made a big difference. She’s a large dog. She’s right at the 50-pound weight limit that a lot of places feel is too big. She enjoys the freedom here.”
Another resident, Carolyn, lives with Maddie-a golden retriever. She, too, says Country Meadows’ pet policies were a deciding factor in her move to Country Meadows. “I appreciate so much being able to bring Maddie otherwise I probably wouldn’t be here. She’s doing very well, she’s adjusted very well,” she says, adding, “She’s a very kind and gentle dog. I sleep on one pillow and she sleeps on the other one, with her ball in her mouth. I am just so happy here!”
As we get older, sometimes day-to-day requirements to provide care for a pet may become difficult. To help residents continue to care for their pets, Country Meadows has a Pet Care Program offering services such as walking pets, filling bowls, changing litter boxes, brushing, coordinating grooming and veterinary visits, administering medications…nearly everything an animal needs to remain happy and healthy while living with his/her human. Click here for tips to safely care for a pet as you age.
Kathryn concludes, “God made animals for us. When you have a pet, you’re not alone. It feels good to look after her and have that responsibility, a purpose.”