Skip to main content

Middle -Aged, 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.  

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Are Lawn Care Products Killing Our Pets?

One evening, while in Miami for vacation, I met up with an old friend I know through pet rescue work.     It was great spending time with this friend, especially since she radiates joy.    While catching up, we inevitably stumbled upon the subject of pets . Yes it looks pretty but so does non-chemically-treated grass     My friend mentioned that her family had lost their 3 dogs, all to cancer, within months of each other a few years back.  -Clearly this was a devastating blow.       "Were you feeding them high-quality food?" I asked.  "I must admit, I was giving my dogs 'ok-dog-food' and never had put much thought into what they were eating... until I lost them both to cancer within a year of each other.  My collie mix passed away at age 8 and my shepherd mix at age 9," I added.      "Yes, we fed our dogs high quality food, Nature's Recipe Grain Free is what we had always given them.   I did some research after they died

Brian's Story

Brian is a young man, maybe in his early 30's.  Today he shared some of his story with me during phase 1 of a cat adoption.       "Growing up we always had pets, like a lot of pets.  Mom wasn't savvy about spaying and neutering and all that.  If there were strays in the neighborhood, she'd feed them and the next thing you know, they'd be ours," said Brian.       Working with people during pet adoptions, training, pet surrenders, and (especially) pet retention cases, sometimes I act as a counselor of sorts.  It's my job to help people open up to explore what's going on under the surface.  Some people have no desire to open up; these are the few and far between that seem incapable of bonding in a meaningful way with pets, or people. However, m ost open up with the right questions and a listening ear to follow.  And others, like Brian, are so wise they need no prompting... they 'go there' all on their own.       "You see, my mom

Is There a Puppy Shortage, or a Puppy Surplus?

The answer to that question has a lot to do with where you live.     If you're in a rural area in the southeastern part of the United States there are still far more puppies than there are homes for them. There are likely abandoned dogs in public places, and your municipal shelters are likely still euthanizing for time/space.     In 2006, here in Louisville, Ky., I worked for Louisville Metro Animal Services (LMAS).       At that time our shelter, along with the grand majority of shelters nationwide, was euthanizing more than 1/2 of the animals that came in ... and most euthanasia was due to time/space.       This means "time/space" was written on the kennel cards of the dozens of animals that were put down daily as the reason for euthanasia... referring to the lack of kennel or cage s pace  and the lack of time to wait for a kennel or cage to open up.  Simba, a transport dog we fostered     This is still hard for me to even write about.  -Losing s