Cats, dogs and even pigs are beginning to receive retirement community treatment in southern Belgium. Caretaker Valerie Luycx looks after the over 150 aging animals in Chievres, Belgium and provides elderly pets with a sanctuary.
All 150 animals either suffer from health problems or their owners became too old to take care of them. The refuge offers a unique service to older pet owners who want to ensure their beloved animals are still taken care of in their owner’s advancing age.
Luycx was quoted in a Reuters story saying “we wanted to recreate family life for the animals.” So, the animal lover makes sure to remember all of the animals’ names and give the animals freedom to move as they want.
She founded the animal retirement community called The Little Old Ones in 2000 with her husband Serge.
The home often takes in pets from senior citizens unable to take care of their pets further. The unique offer may find increased demand in other parts of the globe where elderly pet owners desire a place for their older pets to go when more involved care becomes too difficult.
Pet ownership can be a boon to older humans seeking companionship and a routine to follow. For example, pet therapy is becoming a more widely accepted source of stress relief and some studies have found that owning a dog brings health benefits to senior citizens.
However, a study found that many senior citizen pet owners do not make arrangements for their pets if the owner passes away.
The Little Old Ones animal retirement community offers a model for other animal refuges to follow. If more seniors are aware of the potential to pass on their pets to able hands when the time comes, elderly pet owners can rest easier knowing their beloved pets are well taken care.
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