Paws, Pets and Purpose - St. Augustine Health Ministries

Having just celebrating National Pet Month, what better time to celebrate our “furry friends” and all of the joy they bring to our lives. For seniors, having a pet to love and care for provides a great sense of comfort and companionship. Caring for a pet who depends on you for their health and welfare, provides “purpose.” Many seniors miss that sense of purpose when they do not have a job to go to or children watch over.


Seniors who do have pets are sometimes at a disadvantage when searching for a retirement or assisted living community. Many of these communities do not accept pets. Emerald Village Senior Living located in North Olmsted, Ohio, happily accepts new residents who have a cat or a dog.  Each pet is assessed as to their appropriateness. Dogs must weigh 25 pounds or less, have updated vet records, and the resident must be capable of caring for their animal.

Knowing that animals play an important role in our lives, we are grateful to our friend, Terry, who brings her beautiful Golden Retriever, “Dempsey the Therapy Dog” to visit our residents.

Studies have shown that senior pet owners have more time to spend with their dog or cat and benefit for increased activity and socialization. Many “pound pets” benefit as well, because their human is around more often.

According to the National Council for Aging Care, there are 6 reasons seniors should adopt or have pets:

Calmness, Companionship, daily exercise, purpose, security, and staying social.

At Emerald Village, we celebrate our “pet residents “and know they are an important part of our lives and culture of caring.