Retirement Living Has Its Paws-itives For Poppy And Devoted Owner John
As a nation of animal lovers – it is little wonder that our canine companions are often referred to as ‘man’s best friend’.
Research has also shown that owning a pet in retirement or later life can be especially beneficial to those who are living alone.
Charity Age UK say pets can help people make new friends and stay connected socially. Owners can enjoy a variety of shared activities such as communal dog walks, charitable events and competitions.
Pets can also help to overcome other issues like anxiety or depression and can raise self-esteem.
Retired aircraft engineer John Kidwell and his Boston Terrier Poppy live at Charters Village in East Grinstead – a retirement village which welcomes pets to come and live with their owners.
In John’s case, he and his wife Peggy moved to the retirement village three years ago from their former four-bedroom Surrey home – with John willingly taking on the role of Peggy’s carer when she become ill with dementia.
Apartment living at Charters Village suited the couple perfectly until John was unable to care for Peggy in their home, and she moved across into the on-site care home.
John could visit every day, along with Poppy, until Peggy sadly passed away. John continues to enjoy life with Poppy at Charters Village, meeting up with his daughter Louise and her dog Millie most days to stroll around the grounds and surrounding open spaces.
Louise said: “I try and visit dad most days and we take the dogs out for a walk together. We wouldn’t be able to do that if dad lived further away. My children come and visit their grandad too, taking him shopping, and if I am away, they’ll pop over to have dinner taking Millie so she can play with her playmate Poppy.”
John said: “Being close to my family is wonderful because I get to see my daughter and grandchildren all the time. It’s nice to be able to spend time together and share our love of dog walking. Having Poppy around has always provided me with great companionship, and even more so when there are quieter times during the day. However, there are many varied activities to join in with on a daily basis at the Village, there is never any time to feel lonely. Poppy adapted very well to her new surroundings and has been made welcome by everyone – she enjoys retirement living as much as I do.”