Having a pet can transform your life as pet owners at McCarthy and Stone’s developments reveal

According to a latest study by leading retirement housebuilders, McCarthy & Stone, owning a pet increases your chances of enjoying a happy retirement.

Pet owners also have double the amount of exercise than non-pet owners, with researchers finding that seven in ten feel more relaxed in their company.[1]

Perhaps unsurprisingly then, nine in ten owners believe their pet is good for their health and wellbeing.

Geoff Bates, Head of Marketing for McCarthy & Stone South says: “These findings back-up our view that pet ownership can have many positive benefits for the over 55s.

“At McCarthy & Stone, we understand the importance of this relationship. Questions about our pet-friendly policy are always top of the list for pet owners who are considering downsizing; and it is our pleasure to explain that well-behaved pets are welcome in all of our developments, so residents can enjoy their company during their retirement years.”

Knowing that pets are vital to the happiness of older people, McCarthy & Stone creates pet-centric environments.

Jennifer Lord and Bobo

Jennifer Lord, 80 bought a two-bedroom apartment at McCarthy & Stone’s Bowes Lyon Court Retirement Living Plus development in Poundbury, Dorset, because it suited her part-Staffie, part-whippet, Bobo.

“It was love at first sight”, says Jennifer. “Bobo had been in the care of Battersea Dogs and Cats Home for nearly a year because nobody wanted her. I’d been looking after rescue dogs for many years, and when I saw Bobo’s little face staring up at me, I just knew we’d get along fine.”

Jennifer and Bobo lived happily together in France for three years, before Jennifer decided to move back to the UK.

“I was walking past Bowes Lyon Court one day with my son”, says Jennifer. “We decided we would go in and take a look around, and having seen all of the facilities we were so impressed, and the fact Bobo could live there meant I was able to buy an apartment which was even bigger than my original cottage!”

The development’s pet-friendly ethos is an important attraction for residents.

Having access to lovely walks was also important to Jennifer.

Geoff Bates, Head of Marketing for McCarthy & Stone South added: “We understand that making the decision to downsize can be stressful enough without having to leave behind a beloved pet, and that often people will put their pet’s accommodation needs before their own. We love hearing about how a pet helps our residents stay physically and mentally active, and enjoy a great social life too.”

Some 43 per cent of the over 55s polled in the study by McCarthy & Stone, said they valued their dog or cat as it meant they always had someone to talk to – with 16 per cent claiming if it wasn’t for their pet, they would never speak to anyone.

Carol Harding, 85, bought her two-bedroom apartment at Bowes Lyon Court with her husband, David.

Their four-bedroom town house in Poundbury had become too much to manage on their own, especially as David was still recovering from illness.

Bowes Lyon Court, designed for the over 70s, not only meant the couple could live more independently with level access throughout, and without the maintenance worries of a larger property; but it also opened up many more social opportunities for them, and of course they could bring their black ‘Jack-a-Poo’ (a cross between a Jack Russell and a Poodle), Widget.

“Earlier this year I had a fall while out walking Widget and I broke my hip”, Carol explains. “My son took care of him for a while which was great, but what was really excellent was how our new neighbours rallied to help with exercising Widget.

“He’s such a little character, everyone loves him. He’s as much a part of the community here as we are, and it’s so nice to know we have people looking out for him, and that we can call upon if we need anything.”

Bowes Lyon Court is in the heart of Poundbury, and has proven popular with retirees keen to explore the benefits of independent living.

The development offers beautiful social spaces such as a club lounge, billiards room and library, where residents can take part in a range of activities from coffee mornings to film nights, games evenings, and art classes.

Made up of 62 one-and-two bedroom apartments, the last remaining one-bedroom apartments are currently priced from £260,000 to purchase outright with rental options available.

Each apartment offers modern interiors, spacious master bedrooms, en-suite bathrooms and fully integrated kitchens.

Residents can also benefit from individually tailored-support packages – including help with laundry, and cleaning.

There is also an on-site restaurant serving nutritious and freshly prepared meals.

It may be a long way to Tipperary as the famous song goes, but for 86-year-old McCarthy & Stone resident, Richard Costello, it is the place that connects him with his beloved dog, Mucker.

On adopting the collie three years ago after his wife passed away, Richard discovered that both he and Mucker shared the same birthplace in Ireland.

Since their time together, they have forged a loving and mutually beneficial relationship, which has continued after Richard’s decision to purchase a retirement property in 2017.

Richard Costello and Mucker

They now both live at the McCarthy & Stone Retirement Living development, Calico Court in Glossop. (There are currently no properties available at Calico Court)

While Richard is loving his new life making friends and participating in social activities his faithful, four-legged companion is just as much at home.

Indeed, he has become a star attraction, not only making friends with all the residents, but as a popular sight around the town when he is on one of his frequent walks with Richard.

Those looking to find out more about Retirement Living Plus at McCarthy and Stone’s Bowes Lyon Court development are invited to call 0800 3100 383. For information about all developments visit www.mccarthyandstone.co.uk.


Bowes Lyon Court