pet policy. It might also be valuable to ask if they offer Animal-Assisted Therapy or pet visits, which can offer all the joy of animal companionship without the responsibility.
“We’re connected with a great organization that fosters to adopt senior dogs. We will have them come in with the dogs for monthly visits with the residents. It is very well received,” says Rebecca, from Seasons Strathroy. When researching senior housing options for yourself or a loved one, be sure to ask about the
*Activities vary depending on the residence and are subject to change based on protocol.
S easons understands that pets are often an extension of our family. When residents move in, we want them to feel comfortable and at home, which is why all of our communities are pet- friendly. We would never expect residents to choose between living with us or living with their beloved pets. We simply ask that residents provide us with emergency contact information should they need assistance in caring for their pets. In addition, residents must ensure that their pet’s behaviour is well-suited for a community-style living environment. This means the pet must be good with people, other animals and they must not interfere with neighbouring residents’ quiet enjoyment of their homes. Fun Manager, Rebecca McCullough reflects on the pets living at Seasons Strathroy. “It brings us great pleasure knowing that a resident can bring their special companion along with them.” She continues, “We have Bella that belongs to a couple who lives with us. Bella is a long-eared basset hound dog, who is older. On her morning and evening walks, she always stops to make sure everyone gets a turn patting her on her way in and out of the building. It truly brings everyone a shared sense of joy.” Rebecca even brings her own dog to work. “My dog named Audi is now seven and he has been coming to work with me at Seasons since he was eight weeks old. The residents have grown to know and love him. Audi can be found throughout the home with many different residents, cuddled up on laps or going for walks. He is known for jumping on the elevator and going for a ride to sneak a treat or two from residents in their suites,” she says. “He has become a staple for our home. It’s nice knowing that so many people enjoy his company.”
Seasons pet policy isn’t specifically limited to independent-living. Aside from advancements in technology and medication, research shows that pets can help reduce the mood-related effects of Alzheimer’s disease. Benny, a cat that lives at Seasons High River, has also made an impact on the residents. Benny loves to provide companionship for his owner who lives in Memory Care, but he has made many new friends too. “He brings joy to our residents and makes them smile. He makes his rounds daily. He can be found napping on a bed, a chair or on papers in the office. Benny has provided a sense of purpose for the residents. His presence has helped reduce anxiety, agitation, and loneliness,” says Health and Wellness Manager, Gerri Barber. “Benny has been a welcomed addition to our Memory Care family. Staff have embraced him, participate in his care, and have acknowledged the therapeutic benefits that he has unconditionally brought to our daily life. What could be better than to redirect a resident who is feeling lonely to an interaction with an animal? In most cases, the loneliness is forgotten. The tactile stroking of Benny’s soft coat takes on a whole new level of comfort and security for most residents,” she adds. Many Seasons homes offer access to Animal- Assisted Therapy or pet-visiting programs, which have been shown to have physical and mental health benefits such as lowering blood pressure and increasing feelings of happiness and comfort. These activities can also encourage social interaction, communication and a shared sense of community within group settings.*
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