Pets or no pets? Can you take pets to a retirement village? What are the benefits of keeping your pet? Are there any downsides? No doubt, if you’re already a pet owner, you understand that your pets are part of the family and you wouldn’t consider being without them. But what about when you want to move to a land lease community?
While some retirement villages and land lease communities will welcome your pet, there are others that have a strictly ‘no pets’ policy. Therefore, this is something that you seriously want to consider if you’re already a pet owner.
Even those communities that do allow pets might have certain rules around the size of the pet that is welcome. More about this later.
The benefits of owning a pet
Many studies have been conducted worldwide that have discovered that there are numerous benefits to pet ownership. According to the RSPCA, pet ownership can help to lower blood pressure and increase physical activity. They also concluded that pet owners are more relaxed, happy and stress-free.
Pets are also great company, especially for those who are living alone. Single people who have a pet are less likely to feel lonely and often find that they can chat happily with strangers when they take their dog out for a walk.
On a similar note, an article by Village Glen, a residential aged care community on the Mornington Peninsula in Victoria, states that pets are ideal companions for retired people and seniors because they provide emotional support, help their owners to socialise more and provide unconditional love. Owning and caring for a pet also gives you a sense of purpose.
The downsides of taking a pet to a retirement village
While there are numerous benefits to pet ownership, there are also some downsides and some lifestyle choices that may make owning a pet difficult. For example, if you plan to take holidays overseas or interstate frequently, owning a pet is not the best idea. You have to find someone to care for your pet while you’re away and this can be quite costly.
The other downsides of owning a pet are also cost-related. These include buying quality food and vet visits. You also have to remember that as your pet ages, it might require more specialist care and medications. In this case, you have to ask yourself whether you can afford these extra expenses as your income lessens or is fixed.
Land lease communities that welcome pets
If you’ve considered the pros and cons of owning a pet and feel the benefits outweigh the costs, here are a few land lease communities or retirement villages that welcome pets. Just be sure to check the rules for each individual community.
Aveo Group has lifestyle villages in Queensland, NSW, Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania. Most of these villages allow small to medium-sized pets. However, approval needs to be granted by the community manager and some communities do not allow pets at all.
RSL LifeCare has lifestyle villages in the ACT and NSW. While not all of their villages allow pets, they currently have 14 villages that welcome pets.
Newport Over 55s Lifestyle Community in Port Macquarie allows pets. However, they do have rules about the type of pets you can have.
Centennial Living has top-rated villages around Melbourne, many of them pet-friendly.
Lendlease has 76 retirement villages around Australia in NSW, Victoria, QLD, South Australia, Western Australia and the ACT. They welcome small to medium-sized pets but each pet needs to be approved by the village manager.
Oak Tree Retirement Villages are located in various parts of QLD and NSW and there’s also one in Victoria and one currently in Tasmania. In order to bring your pet into one of their villages, you have to complete an application form and sign a copy of the Pet Policy and Agreement.
EdenLife is a lifestyle community located in Australind, WA. The village welcomes pets as long as you get approval from community management.
These are just a sampling of the various retirement villages around the country that allow and often, welcome pet ownership. You can explore others by searching your preferred locations here.
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