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Getting Older, Yes Pets, No Kids

 More Options Now Than Ever for Pet-Loving Seniors


Something shared by a friend on Facebook caught Margaret’s eye last fall.

It was a post about including pets in planning.

As an owner of 3 dogs, a single, middle-aged, woman, Margaret identified with the post.

She had wondered, “who would take care of my pets if something happened to me?”

2020, among other things, could easily be considered, Year of the Pet.

With Covid-19 came a yearning for constant companionship in the home, which led many to seek out pet ownership.

Fortunately, there are more options now than ever for older Americans with pets.

Many Senior Living Facilities are Now Pet-Friendly

Most elder care professionals recognize the vast array of health benefits that pets offer seniors, like lowering the rates of bad stuff such as cardiovascular disease, anxiety and depression, and increasing the rates of good stuff, like social interaction and calmness.

This has led many senior living facilities to not only allow, but embrace, pets of residents.

Some facilities even have pet coordinators on staff to assist with pet clean up, exercise and vaccinations.

Traveling with pets poses less obstacles

The advent of psychiatrists prescribing pets for mental health has turned “no pets allowed” signs into “therapy pets welcome” signs.  This has helped blur the lines of pet permissibility in hospitality and retail.  It’s no longer uncommon to see dogs in Home Depot, airports, hotels, and even hospitals.   

So, fret not snowbirds, a quick internet search will lead you to a host of pet-friendly destinations, hotels and Airbnbs.

Estate Planning with Pets

Some estate planning attorneys and a handful of corporations have come to understand the need for planning with pets.  An estimated 10% of the American population includes pets in planning, and that number is growing. 

“The few and far between that bequeath pets to us secure a loving home not only for their pets, but also allow us to place many other (homeless) pets in loving homes. By including pets in planning, people are becoming part of something much bigger,” shares Jessica Pita, owner of boutique rescue, The Paw and Feather Plan Inc.


So, rest assured. If you want a pet, and think you cannot or should not have one, think again. 

Someone else has already thought of many ways to make pet ownership possible for people of all ages and conditions.  


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