5 Tips for Seniors Seeking Pet-Friendly Assisted Living

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5 Tips for Seniors Seeking Pet-Friendly Assisted Living

James Hall
Senior Care Fitness

Helping seniors live their best lives… because age is nothing but a number.

It can be difficult for seniors and their loved ones to make a decision about moving into an assisted living facility. Before relocating, there are lots of variables to consider, like cost, amenities provided, and the quality of care in different facilities. And some seniors may find themselves facing a dilemma when it’s finally time to move into assisted living: What will they do with their pets?

Senior pet owners should know that they don’t have to rehome their pets if they decide to move into an assisted living facility. While not all assisted living facilities accept pets, there are plenty that do. Here’s how to find a community that can be a home for both you and your pet.

Consider Your Needs

Naturally, you’re thinking about finding a facility where your pet can accompany you, but before you start your research, you need to consider your personal needs. What kind of medical care will you need? Which amenities and services will be essential for you? How much can you afford to spend on fees every month? Once you’ve figured out the answers to these important questions, it’s time to start looking into potential facilities.

Thorough Research

Now that you know exactly what you need in an assisted living facility, you can start looking for pet-friendly communities that fit all your other requirements. It helps to begin your initial search by asking your loved ones and members of any community groups you belong to for suggestions, but you should also feel free to use the internet to look up facilities in your area. Check out their websites to see if they have any specific policies in regards to pet ownership.

Take Several Tours

You might have your heart set on a certain community, but you won’t know if it’s the right fit for you until you visit in person. In fact, it’s best to tour a few different facilities before choosing one. Sixty and Me recommends asking the staff about the medical services the facility provides, whether you would have a shared or private room, and what kind of activities the residents can partake in. You should also ask about any pet amenities, such as open spaces for them to walk and play in. And don’t forget to ask about any pet ownership fees and breed restrictions!

Keep Your Space Clean

Once you arrive in your new community with your pet, you’ll both need to get used to some new routines, and regularly cleaning your space will have to be a priority. You’ll also want to take extra steps to prevent your pet from getting fleas. Introducing fleas into an assisted living community could be a serious health issue for residents.

If you have a dog, applying flea medication is one way to keep your pet healthy and protected. However, you’ll want to research the health risks and side effects of any flea medication you choose, as some can pose hazards to pets and humans. It’s important to select a medication that is both effective and safe.

Social Adjustment

Chances are that your pet is a little bit intimidated with so many strangers around, so it’s your job to help them relax and make friends! As you help your pet get into a predictable daily routine in their new home, you should also try to introduce them to new people in a manner that makes them feel comfortable. The Spruce suggests telling visitors to ignore your pet when they enter your space and allowing your pet to go up to them when they feel at ease. Give them treats to reward them for positive interactions.

Selecting an assisted living facility is a very important decision. And if you’re a senior who also happens to be a pet owner, it’s perfectly understandable that you would want to bring your animal companion along with you. By touring multiple facilities and asking the right questions, you can find a new home in a community where your pet will be welcome, too.