Role Pets Play in Assisted Living

Why Are Pets Important in Assisted Living?

( – Moving into an assisted living facility can be a challenging transition for a parent or grandparent. While there are a lot of perks and plenty of activities to keep busy with, loneliness can also set in. Companionship can be beneficial to someone who is recently widowed or find themselves living alone for the first time in years.

This is where introducing a pet to the mix can be very beneficial. Companionship, security and fostering a sense of responsibility are just a few reasons why a furry companion is so important. Discover the benefits of having a pet in an assisted living setting and how it can improve the quality of life for your loved one.


A pet can help fill a void of loneliness and isolation, something that could otherwise lead to depression. In addition to the facilities that let residents have their own pets, some welcome visiting pets or may have animals such as dogs, birds or cats that are permanent residents of the facility.


When moving to an assisted living facility, it’s not uncommon for people to lose their sense of security. After all, they may very well be leaving the only home they’ve ever known. Pets can help make the transition smoother by adding another layer of protection. While most assisted living centers already offer a safe environment, having a small dog makes residents feel protected and can even notify them of impending visitors.


When daily tasks like cooking, cleaning and even home maintenance are now someone else’s job, new assisted living residents can start to feel like they are no longer useful. Introducing a pet gives individuals a sense of responsibility. Taking the dog for a walk, personal grooming and even feedings help seniors feel they have important tasks to complete.

Robotic Pet Options

If a loved one is in a specialized assisted living center because of the onset of dementia, a live pet might not be the best option for safety considerations. However, there are still benefits to having a pet present in their daily lives.

Robotic therapy animals are something relatively new for memory centers where patients may struggle with loneliness. It’s an innovative and safe way to give patients the companionship of an animal without the core responsibilities of a live pet.

There are countless reasons why pets are welcomed and appreciated at assisted living centers. They give your loved one something to care for and look forward to. They are then rewarded with a sense of purpose in daily life. If you feel that a pet would be beneficial, look for a facility that welcomes them with open arms.

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