Seniors choose retirement communities that allow pets

Posted May. 16, 2012 under Retirement Communities

When researching assisted living communities, many people take factors like recreational opportunities and medication management into consideration. While those are still very important, a growing number of older adults are placing an emphasis on whether or not they can bring their pets with them, The Associated Press reports.

Many retirement communities across the country have begun welcoming four-legged friends, and industry insiders have found that around 40 percent of prospective residents ask about pets when deciding on a place to live. Among them is Shirlee Horowitz, 77, who brought her dog with her when she moved.

"I worried more about him because he had a big yard before," she told the AP. "But he has adjusted to this better than we have."

It makes sense for retirement communities to allow pets, as the companions have proven to yield significant health benefits for older adults. According to Everyday Health, studies have shown pet owners often have a lower risk of developing depression and anxiety. Additionally, it helps people stay mentally and physically active.

"Remembering to walk and feed your pet exercises your brain, and it increases your sense of responsibility, which is important to people," Kelly Connolly, who works with the Humane Society of the United States, told the news source.