No Need to Leave Man’s Best Friend Behind

At 2Sisters Senior Living Advisors, we’ve seen some seniors put off the search for long-term care and living options because of a fear that they will have to give up their pets when they move into a community. We’re here to dispel that myth. Some communities do allow pets, and we believe the positive benefits they bring should not be ignored, especially for seniors. Studies have shown pets offer therapeutic benefits that lead to measurable positive medical results for their owners. 2Sisters can help you find the assisted living care you need, without giving up your pets and the quality of life they bring.

Recently, we helped two families with pets find new homes in Southeastern Massachusetts communities that would welcome and support them.

A Young Yellow Labrador!
Putter the Yellow Lab now lives with his parents in their new senior living community
Meet Joan, Paul and Putter. Joan and Paul are a vibrant couple in their sixties; Putter is a two year-old yellow lab – still a puppy at heart. While Joan’s health issues made an Assisted Living community a smart choice for them, they were reluctant to start their search because of Putter’s size and youthful exuberance. Some communities have size restrictions for pets, while other communities do not allow pets at all. Putter was part of the family and had been Paul’s constant companion since he picked Putter from the litter. Joan and Paul were not willing to give him up. They asked us to help them find a community that would embrace all eight legs of the family.

We searched for communities on Boston’s South Shore that would welcome Putter and that had all the other features Paul and Joan needed. That narrowed the list to three, saving them a huge amount of time. Then Putter just needed to pass a pet interview. That’s really just a chance for the community to meet the dog, assess its temperament, how well it obeys, how it responds to other residents, and the owner’s ability to care for it. Putter, Joan and Paul aced the interviews.

 

For Joan and Paul, their ability to care for Putter was a deciding factor in Putter being allowed in their new community. Some other communities will build pet care needs into residents’ care plans, or residents can hire pet walkers to come in and care for the dog if they are not able.

A Toy Poodle Rescue

Last summer our vet called us asking if we could find a home for Hazel, a toy poodle whose owner had to go to a nursing home after a fall. Being pet lovers, we knew what a hard decision that was, and asked to meet with Judy, the owner, to see how we could best help. Turns out Judy had only chosen a nursing home because it was close to home and she didn’t know of any options. After speaking with Judy, we knew we could find an assisted living facility for her that would accommodate her care needs while allowing her to keep Hazel.

Judy and Hazel recently moved into a community where they are thriving together. Judy’s care plan includes dog walking and feeding, giving Judy all the benefits of having a pet, with none of the stress of care. What’s more, Hazel’s presence has eased the transition from home to community, helping Judy make new friends. Hazel has even been dubbed the mascot of her building and gets dressed up for holidays. Hazel is on board with the move, possibly due to the increase in belly rubs. So instead of finding a new home for the dog as the vet had asked, we found a new – better – home for Judy!

Putting the Emphasis on Living

2Sisters believes it’s important to recommend clients to communities that create opportunities to give as well as receive care. One of our core beliefs is that senior living should have an emphasis on living the way residents feel most comfortable. Having pets combats feelings of loneliness and depression, which are major risks for seniors. Studies show pets have marked health benefits for their owners including lower blood pressure, lessened anxiety, and boosted immune systems. In addition, pet owners generally live longer.

The bottom line: don’t put off moving into a senior living community because you are worried about not being able to bring your best friend. We helped Putter and Hazel remain part of their families; we can do the same for your cat, dog, or bird. It is our promise to use our industry expertise to find a community that will support your lifestyle, furry or otherwise.

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