A Guide to Pet-Friendly Senior Living

A Guide to Pet-Friendly Senior LivingGetting older sometimes means needing a little extra help with your day-to-day routine. Depending on your circumstances, it could make sense for you to consider moving into assisted living. These facilities are easy to navigate, offer immediate access to medical care, and provide a built-in community and social network. They’re a wonderful option for many older adults looking for a safe way to enjoy their golden years.

However, this can be an anxiety-inducing option for seniors with pets. Cats, dogs, and other furry friends become family, and the idea of leaving them behind is too much to bear for many of us. Fortunately, there are pet-friendly options for those looking into assisted living. Here are a few things you need to consider when looking into options for you and your pals.

Keeping Healthy

When it comes to bringing your pet into a senior community, it’s important to make sure your furry friend is healthy and up-to-date on all shots and flea meds. This matters for several reasons. For starters, a facility is unlikely to accept an animal that is likely to pass diseases on to other pets that live there. Moreover, pests like fleas can pose a risk to both animals and humans in the facility — not to mention, can be pricey to remove.

Remember, when it comes to fleas, you’ll probably need to update your pet’s treatment between vet visits. Make sure you thoroughly research which medication you use to keep your pal bug-free. Some are only safe for certain animals, or even certain breeds and sizes. Moreover, some flea meds have been linked with severe allergic reactions and other serious medical problems. Research any meds before using them, and when in doubt, ask your vet.

Good Behavior

In addition to good health, most assisted living facilities will ask that any pets are well-trained. Any time you have your animal around other people or animals, you need to be certain it won’t attack others or make them uncomfortable. If you can’t trust your pet to leave others alone, you must be able to show that they’re leash trained.

Moreover, animals that are noisy, destructive, or poorly potty trained may present a problem. These issues can cause problems for neighbors, as well as lead to damage in your living space. This can lead to your pet (or you) being evicted, as well as charges to fix any issues your pal has caused. If you haven’t already trained your pal, consider enrolling them in some form of obedience training. This will give them the tools they need to thrive in a controlled environment.

Vetting Your Options

Finally, in addition to making sure your pet is right for the facility, you should make sure the facility is right for your pet. Ask yourself what kind of needs your furry friend has, and do these spaces accommodate them? For example, are the rooms big enough to fit your feline’s favorite cat tree? Is there a big yard or walking trail where you can help your dog to exercise?

One great way to get a sense of whether a home is truly pet-friendly is to ask to speak with a resident who has a pet. They can give you a sense for what kind of steps the facility takes to ensure the safety of its residents, human and otherwise.

It may take some digging to find an option that has all the features both you and your best friend need. However, it will be well worth it. Having your pet beside you in a retirement home is a great boon. Animals help improve mood, reduce your odds of developing depression and anxiety, and even lower blood pressure. Most importantly, they make a new space into a home.

Author: James Hall

Photo Credit: Pexels

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