Seniors are mentally and physically better when there is someone to talk to, share life’s ups and downs with, and help them feel an important part of life. How about a dog? Wow! Who would have thought? There are several breeds of dogs suggested for Seniors based on personality traits, level of energy, and ease of training. The American Kennel Club suggests some serious thinking before bringing either a puppy or adult dog home as a new member of the household. Although this article centers on dogs, the information provided also applies to cats and kittens.

Cost of care… vaccinations, food, licensure.
Rescue or puppy? Rescue dogs are more likely to be trained, while puppies need a lot of discipline.
Is the owner physically able to care for a dog?
Who will be the “alternate” caretaker should circumstances prevent your Senior to care for Fido?

Independent Living Communities may or may not be open to a small pet moving in with a resident. The owner, not the staff, is responsible for a pet. A separate fee could be charged to cover any “accidents.” If a dog barks constantly or is unfriendly to other residents, staff may require the animal to live elsewhere. Some Assisted Communities allow a resident to have a pet reside with them in an apartment if they are able to care for it. Visits by a pet, however, are usually permitted.

Therapy animals provide emotional support to residents in Senior Communities and often reside in the community itself. Seniors, with therapy animals, are able to engage in animal-assisted activities, and receive emotional support from a furry friend who is content to just “be there.” Many animals have a sixth sense and know when someone is ill, never leaving their side. Hospices are now bringing therapy dogs to provide comfort to those who are on their final journey.

No animals allowed? Robotic cats and dogs are now available online. A robotic animal is difficult to distinguish from the real thing, even purring and barking. The beauty is the low maintenance and care. Numerous communities have “adopted” these proteges.

Bridge to Better Living has their own office dog… Bridger, a miniature Bernese Mountain/Poodle who is confident every client is his best friend. If you are thinking about transitioning to Independent, Assisted, Memory Assisted, or Long-Term Care contact Bridge to Better Living. If you are worried about your pet during a lifestyle change, our Transition Consultants know where you and your pet will be comfortable. We care about YOU… and your faithful companion.