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The Benefits of Living in a Pet-Friendly Nursing Home

June 18, 2019
Live the best years of your life with an animal companion by your side. There are many benefits of pet-friendly aged care in Melbourne.

Pet-friendly aged care facilities increase the satisfaction and happiness among the elderly, as well as resulting in fewer animal surrenders to pet shelters.

The joys of pet ownership

Pet ownership is mentally beneficial to people of all ages. Bonding with pets for as little as 15 minutes can lower cortisol levels and increase the production of serotonin – that means playing catch with your toy poodle or taking your golden retriever out for a walk can leave you feeling less stressed and happier overall.

And there’s no better time to enjoy the companionship of a devoted pet than in your golden years. With more time to care for pets, you can provide a better quality of life to animals in need of a home.

Retirees who are no longer able to engage in activities they used to enjoy, or stay in touch with friends, will find consolation in the company of their furry friends.

Other benefits include:

  •  More physical activity. Pets, particularly dogs, encourage their owners to engage in light physical activity such as playing, cleaning, and daily walks.
  •  More social interaction. Pet owners generally have more opportunities to socialize by meeting other pet owners or talking to people who show       interest in their pets.
  • Better morale. Pets are known to improve their owners’ mood, lessening feelings of loneliness and isolation, and giving them a renewed sense of purpose.
  • Increased alertness. Pets’ reliance on their owners can make you feel more alert and mentally present.
  • Routine. Pet ownership requires work, but caring for one gives structure to day-to-day life, with owners having to follow regular feeding times and exercise.

The need for pet-friendly aged care services

Despite the benefits of pet ownership, however, only 18% of residential aged care facilities in Australia allow retirees to take their pets with them, according to a 2017 study by the Animal Welfare League of Australia (AWLA). The study also found that 7% of pet surrenders were related to the need for aged care, with over 9,600 surrenders to the RSPCA believed to be elderly-related.

These statistics point to the need for pet-friendly aged care services. The good news is that there are some aged care facilities that acknowledge the benefits of pet ownership and the need for animals to stay with their owners.

The primary benefits of pet-friendly aging care services include:

  •  A reduced need to surrender pets to shelters, particularly older pets that may have difficulty finding a new home
  • Smoother transition to aged care
  • Increased morale for both staff and residents

How to choose a pet-friendly nursing home in Melbourne

There are several factors to consider when choosing a pet-friendly aged care service provider, including:

  • Policies. A nursing home often allows pets based on certain conditions, such as the number, size, and breed of your animal companions. The majority of pets in residential facilities are dogs and cats, though fish and birds are also allowed
  • They will also make sure that your pet is full vaccinated and non-disruptive to other residents and animals in the nursing home.
  • Space. How much space does the community offer? Though caged animals, such as birds, have no need for open space, other animals, such as dogs and cats, must have room to play and roam.
  • Security. The facility must be secure enough so that your beloved pets will not be able to escape or get lost or trapped.
  • Support. Does the community have a support group for pet owners? You will be expected to take full care of your pet, but the existence of support groups will make caring for your pet less overwhelming and more fulfilling.

Embracia understand the needs of its residents and the important role pets play in their lives. This pet-friendly community offers the highest quality of care and a lifestyle-focused approach in order to create a warm and friendly environment for residents and their pets.

If you would like to find out more about Embracia and their pet friendly philosophy, feel free to contact us today for a chat or a tour of one of our homes.

We provide exceptional aged care in an intimate community that feels like home.