Fur Baby Companions
Our pets are our best companions. No doubt! Whether you’re five or fifty-five, pets provide an unparalleled comfort and actually produce a chemical reaction in the brain. This helps to lower the stress-inducing hormone, cortisol, and increase the production have happy feelings through the production of serotonin, the feel-good hormone.
It’s true that pets have been shown to reduce blood pressure and stress levels, and these are all great reasons for our aging family to consider having a pet. Caring for animals can stimulate activity and help to give people a feeling of purpose. I often recommend keeping a pet, or acquiring a pet when someone is making their first transition into assisted living. The daily routine and loving affection, as well as the opportunity for added exercise can be extremely
valuable when you consider the depression that often comes with moving from a life-long home to a new, assisted living setting.
My grandmother is a perfect example of this. Despite the fact that she has reverted to her teen years in many ways (due to her Alzheimer’s), hitting on handsome doctor’s and reapplying her very red lipstick on a pretty regular basis, she never ceases to hold, walk and groom her little Chihuahua, Suzie. Suzie givers her purpose and is always there for her.
As a family, we are very thankful that she has that constant companionship and purpose. I would hate to think of what her life would be like otherwise.
Many senior living communities can accommodate pets and welcome them for all the same reasons mentioned here. They want to see their residents happy and engaged with someone or something. Neglect however is always at the forefront of their consideration when admitting someone with a pet. You must generally be able to care for your pet independent of their usual and customary caregiving tasks.
But, there are some communities that offer pet care in addition to what is normal caregiving or room and board. They may even have pet activities, dress up days, pet of the month, etc.
At Team Senior, we have already vetted (pun intended) the assisted living options in Southern Oregon and we’re familiar with the communities that offer liberal pet accommodations. If having a pet is important to you and your family, I would encourage you to get in touch with us. We might be able to find you and your friendly little dog the perfect new home!