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Pets make great Valentines in senior living communities

By: Country Meadows |

Why says your valentine has to be human? Country Meadows has many pets living in our communities and/or coming to work with their best humans.

Americans love their furry, finned and feathered friends. Last year Americans spent approximately $110 billion on their pets. 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 whe

Layla, a former resident of Speranza Animal Rescue was so excited to use her blanket homemade from residents at Country Meadows. She took it with her to her newly adoptive home.

n 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.

In addition to having pets as companions, many Country Meadows locations support animal rescue organizations in their respective communities.

At our West Shore campus in Mechanicsburg, residents make pet toys and fleece blankets for animals at Speranza Animal Rescue. They met some of the cute animals they are helping when they delivered a ton of homemade blankets, toys and dog biscuits to the rescue as well as pet food donated by other residents. Campus residents also enjoy sponsoring Pepper—a dog cared for by the Helen Krause Animal Foundation who cannot be adopted because of health issues. They recently made a fleece blanket for the adorable pup.

West Shore campus residents sponsor an unadoptable dog, Pepper, and made this warm blanket for the cute pup.

Many of our campuses often make homemade dog biscuits for local shelters and visit rescues to meet animals in need. And at our Hershey location, residents enjoy exercising their pets at the on-campus dog park. (Click here to watch a video of residents at the park with their dogs.)

“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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