Guide To Finding Assisted Living Communities for Seniors With Pets
Guest blog by Jessica Brody of Our Best Friends
When it’s time to transition into assisted living, there are a number of factors for seniors and their families to consider. For instance, there’s the cost of assisted living, the different types of services provided to residents, and the facility’s location. Additional considerations might include a facility’s security features, onsite activities, and reviews from other assisted living residents and their families.
Animal lovers, however, have even more to consider when choosing an assisted living facility. Not all assisted living communities allow pets — and some have breed or size restrictions — so pet owners need to look for suitable facilities for themselves and their animal companions.
To learn how to find a pet-friendly assisted living community for you and your beloved animal companion, read this guide.
Begin Your Search Online
Thanks to the internet, finding pet-friendly assisted living communities is much easier than it once was. Online research guides can be used to search for elder care communities by zip code, allowing you to compare payment options and costs, read reviews and ratings from residents and their families, and obtain detailed reports for the facilities in question. If a nursing home or assisted living community seems like a good fit at first glance, you can then speak with a care advisor at no charge to you.
When researching assisted living communities online, you could also contact the facility directly to inquire about its pet restrictions or visit its website to see if the community’s pet policy is mentioned. As an added benefit to seniors, some assisted living communities not only allow residents to bring their own pets from home — but also have their own resident dogs and cats that live onsite.
Review Pet Policies and Restrictions
While many assisted living communities do allow pets, some have policies and restrictions that prohibit seniors from owning multiple animal companions at one time. Other senior living communities may restrict animals of certain breeds, sizes, ages, and temperaments, and some facilities may require residents to pay a pet deposit.
When choosing a pet-friendly assisted living community for yourself or a senior loved one, some additional considerations may include:
● Indoor and outdoor space. How much space does the pet need to live comfortably? Does the pet require any yard space, and will he have access to the outdoors?
● Pet-related costs. Will you be required to pay a pet deposit? Can you afford to pay for your pet’s care in addition to the cost of assisted living?
● Included services and amenities for pets. Some assisted living communities may offer services such as pet care assistance, group activities for animal companions, and grooming.
Give Your Animal Companion the Care He Deserves
Once you’ve settled into assisted living with your animal companion in tow, there are a few things you can do to ensure you’ll give your pet the best possible care. If you have a dog, for instance, make sure you’re walking him daily, letting him socialize and play with other resident pups, and spoiling him with healthy homemade treats. Or if you have a cat or kitten, playing with him each day will help to keep him healthy and fit — and it’ll be a whole lot of fun for you as well.
To help your pet adjust to his new living environment, you’ll want to bring along the belongings he’s most familiar with — like his favorite bed, toys, and treats — but you might also wish to purchase a few new items as well. Look for vet-reviewed and recommended products to help your pet live the healthiest and happiest life in his new home, and consider purchasing a GPS pet tracker so you can easily locate your fur baby if he happens to sneak into the hall or venture away from your apartment.
Find the Perfect Community for You and Your Pet
Finding a pet-friendly assisted living facility can take some time, and it’s a good idea to begin your search early on to ensure you’ll end up in a senior community where you and your animal companion will thrive. Not all assisted living communities are created equal, and some may have pet policies or restrictions that need to be followed.
As you begin your search for an assisted living facility, start by using online research guides to compare senior communities in your desired area. You can then work with a care advisor to find the right pet-friendly facility for you and your animal companion.
Transitioning into assisted living is rarely easy for seniors and their families, but having an animal companion to snuggle and play with can make the process a lot less stressful. After all, home is where our animal companions are!
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Jessica Brody created Our Best Friends so others could find a place to share stories and photos of their beloved animal companions. Please visit her site for even more images, articles, and pet-related resources.