Making the move to assisted living is already a big life change for seniors. Having to leave a beloved pet behind only makes that more difficult.
Pets offer ample health benefits to seniors. That’s why more assisted living centers have responded to residents’ wishes to keep pets. However, you can’t assume that all senior communities are pet-friendly, so it’s crucial to check about pet policies before you make a decision.
When you do find the right assisted living center, the tips, presented here today by Hillandale Communities, will help both you and your pet get ready for life in your new home.
What You Need to Know About Pets and Assisted Living
As a loving pet-owner, pet-friendliness will likely be a major factor as you consider possible assisted living options. Here are some important things to keep in mind when you’re touring facilities:
- Even when a facility is pet-friendly, they will likely have policies you’ll need to follow, such as how many pets, the type of pet you have, and whether pets are limited to certain buildings.
- Though more and more assisted living centers are becoming pet-friendly these days, it’s often easier to find pet-friendly independent living communities. This means you may want to broaden your search if you don’t need the extra care associated with assisted living.
- Some communities may simply allow pets, whereas others may actually have specific facilities and services for them. Ask if they have designated areas for dog walks, a dog park, grooming services, or assistance with pet care if you need it.
Tips to Help You and Your Pet Live Your Best Life in Assisted Living
Moving into assisted living means settling in, decorating your space, and making it your own. Just as this process helps you feel at home in your new environment, it’s equally important to prepare your pet for this change.
- Make sure your pet has a clean bill of health and that you have a plan for vet care. It’s also important to think about flea control so you don’t run the risk of bringing an infestation into the community. And while flea control is necessary, keep in mind that some flea medicines for dogs can be dangerous to other animals as well as people. Ask the admissions department for recommendations of what other pet-owners has used in assisted living.
- When you get to your new home, make sure you can provide the right environment for your pet to thrive. Dogs are happiest when they get plenty of walks, plus things like toys and puzzles to stay mentally active. Cats love vertical spaces, such as cat trees, to explore and get some exercise.
- To safely walk your pet without increased risk of falling, we recommend obedience training so that your pup knows to heel, sit, and stay on command. Regular stretching and exercise to increase your muscle control and agility as well. Also, remember that pet beds and toys can be a tripping hazard.
Every animal lover knows the benefits of pet-ownership. Make sure that safety is part of your plan for assisted living so that you and your four-legged companion can enjoy life in your new home.
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