Can I bring a pet along to my retirement living apartment?

For more than half the households in Australia, pets are an important part of family life. And, after our kids fly the nest and we retire or enter aged care, pets play an even more important role in our lives. At Evergreen Life Care, we recognise the many benefits of pets and we support the place of pets in aged care and retirement. 

Pets at Evergreen Life Care

Pets can be important companions in our retirement. Evergreen Life Care is set on 13 acres of landscaped grounds with more than enough room for pets to enjoy their retirement too.

Our retirement living quarters, known as Yallambee Village, is pet-friendly and very well suited for your furry friends. The small, private courtyards or balconies are the ideal space for your pet to enjoy. Your apartment or cottage is your home, and we want you, and your pets, to feel at home. 

“I love the patter of paws, and the general noise my dog makes. I feel at home, knowing my best friend is right here with me” – Current Yallambee Village Resident

However, you do require approval for bringing, replacing or getting a new pet. When seeking approval, things to consider are the usual ‘pet peeves’ such as mess, mood and noise:

  • You need to be able to maintain your pet and its environment for the health of your pet, yourself and others.
  • Your pet’s mood shouldn’t include aggression toward you, other residents or their pets.
  • You and your pet will be sharing our tranquil surroundings so, to be respectful of your neighbours, please limit unnecessary noise.

Unfortunately, dogs or cats are not able to live in Yallambee Lodge, but a bird or fish may be allowed with approval.

The benefits of pets in aged care and retirement

Pets can be wonderful companions but you may not know just how beneficial they can be to our lives. Here are five ways that pets help to maintain our physical, mental and emotional wellbeing as we age. 

1. Promoting activity and heart health

As we touched on in our last blog, regular physical activity is important for maintaining a healthy mind and body. Meeting our pet’s needs for play and exercise provides a great excuse for moving and getting outside all year round. As we know, cardio helps to reduce blood pressure and resting heart rate which can help us to live longer. At Evergreen, there are many landscaped and level walking tracks that are perfect for walking your dog. 

2. Encouraging interaction and engagement

On their own, pets make great company, but they also help encourage us to connect with other people. Walking a dog is one of the easiest ways to make new friends and to catch up with old friends too. So, next time you’re walking around the grounds, be sure to stop and meet some of our resident’s friendly and gentle pooches.

3. Supporting rest, relaxation and resilience

Quiet time with our pets is restful and can take our minds off any pain or discomfort we may be experiencing. The simple act of petting an animal can increase the level of serotonin (the ‘feel good’ hormone that relieves stress) in our body, which can both reduce blood pressure and boost mood. Having a pet around can also help increase our sense of security and resilience, and enable us to enjoy spending time alone without feeling lonely.

4. Bringing joy and positivity

There’s no denying the joy that pets bring to our lives. The love and attention we receive from pets is unconditional. And, because they’re so attentive to what’s happening right now, they help keep us focused on the present. Pets easily distract us from negative thoughts and feelings, and shift our focus onto more positive aspects of our lives.

5. Helping with daily routines and purpose

Looking after pets requires planning and regular attention, which not only encourages us to have a daily routine but can also provide a sense of purpose. We tend to look after ourselves better when we have a routine – especially when we have a pet depending on us. The daily tasks of feeding and grooming pets can even help us maintain our motor skills.

Have more questions about keeping a pet in retirement or aged care?

Our friendly team is always available to discuss your unique situation. Contact us for more information about keeping a pet at Evergreen Life Care.